Rivers: Gunmen Storm Funeral, Shoot Top Politicians, Kidnap Guests
Banigo Isile-Ogono community in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State was thrown into coarse on Saturday after yet to be identified gunmen, stormed the area, shot sporadically and abducted several persons.
Some of the victims abducted in the gory operation have been identified as Sunny Hart, Thomas Allison and Theophilus Ibiama, among several others.
Abinye Blessing Pepple who is the Chairman of Bonny Local Government Council; and David Irimagha, the lawmaker representing Bonny Constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, both escaped being killed in the attack.
The incident happened during a funeral at Finiapiri-Ama, Banigo Isile-Ogono community in Bonny Local Government Area of the State.
While the LGA Chairman and the State lawmaker escaped, the leader of the Bonny Local Government Legislative Assembly, Miriam Hart who was among the guests was unlucky.
Miriam Hart, it was gathered, was hit by bullets and now battling for her life at an undisclosed hospital after sustaining gunshot injuries.
Eyewitness told newsmen that, “Pepple, Irimagha, and Hart were among guests who were in the community to attend the funeral of late Kenneth Kalada Banigo when the gunmen who were masked struck.
“The lawmaker, local government chairman, together with other guests tried to get to the waterfront to board their boats and escape.
“The gunmen later abducted a number of persons and took them away into the nearby creeks. The matter has been reported to security agencies,” the eyewitness said.
Kingsley Jumbo, Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Pepple in a statement said, “The Rivers State lawmaker representing Bonny Constituency, Hon Abinye Blessing Pepple and the Executive Chairman of Bonny Local Government, Hon David Rogers Irimagha earlier today escaped being abducted by masked gunmen.
“The unfortunate incident happened at Finapiri Ama (Amauda) village in Banigo Ishilegono where they attended the burial ceremony of an elder statesman in Bonny Kingdom, Late Amaopusenibo Kenneth Miebaradima Kalada Banigo when masked gunmen arrived and began shooting sporadically from the jetty.”
The Rivers State Police Command is yet to release a statement on the unfortunate incident.