The Ancient Kingdom of Grand Bonny in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State has been thrown into mourning following the news of the killing of a Chief-elect in the area, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Oliver Inoma-Abbey by persons suspected to be members of the proscribed terrorist group, Independent People of Biafra (IPOB).
According to a statement by the Anambra state Police command, armed IPOB members attacked Inoma-Abbey with his men, burnt their vehicle and set them ablaze leading to the death of the Assistant commissioner of Police and one of his men, while two others sustained different degrees of burns and were rushed to the hospital where they were still receiving treatment.
The statement by the Anambra State Police Command reads thus:
ATTACK ON POLICE OFFICERS BY ARMED MEN SUSPECTED TO BE PROSCRIBED IPOB MEMBERS IN ORAIFITE:
On the 2/12/2019 at about 11:30 am, there was a formal complaint against One Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor ‘m’ (a member of the proscribed IPOB) in Oraifite on alleged case of abduction, assault occasioning harm and malicious damage to property.
- Following the report, Police Patrol teams led by the Area Commander, Oraifite ACP Oliver Abbey mobilized and rushed to the scene in order to arrest the suspect who declined Police invitation.
- However, as soon as Police arrived the house, armed men suspected to be IPOB members descended on the Police, set ablaze one Patrol vehicle and attacked them with rifles and machetes. As a result of the attack, two Police officers whose identities are being withheld were killed by the suspected IPOB members while others were inflicted with machete cuts. The injured personnel were rushed to the Hospital for medical attention and are presently receiving treatment.
- Consequently, the Command deployed reinforcements from the State Headquarters comprising of PMF, SARS and Special Anti-Cult Units in conjunction with the Army/other Sister agencies who cordoned off the area in order to fish out the culprits, while Joint patrol are still ongoing in the town to prevent further breakdown of law and order.
- Meanwhile, some arrests were made and the Commissioner of Police CP John B. Abang, fdc who is on his way to the scene has vowed to bring perpetrators of this dastardly act to justice.
SP Haruna Mohammed, PPRO Anambra State Police Command,
For: Commissioner of Police, Anambra State Command.
Meanwhile, people of Igbo Extraction living and doing business in Bonny LGA are now living in fear over fears of reprisal attacks on them by youths of the community who feel pained over the gruesome murder of their Chief.
This age long relationship between the Bonny people and the Igbo ethnic nationality seems threatened with this recent incident as there were several Igbo indigenes residing in Bonny, working in the multinational oil and gas firms or doing business there. An elder of the Abbey-Hart House, who spoke on condition of anonymity, warned that “thoughtless actions such as the one that led to the gruesome murder of our Chief-elect can cause a breakdown of law and order and engender crisis between the Bonny and Igbo people”.
He pointed out that it was a dastardly action and an unforgivable action for them to not only attack police officers on duty but burn them alive, stressing that “this won’t go down well with us”.
He said “The Oraifite Community must come and explain to us what happened to our brother, father, uncle and highly respected Chief-elect”.
The late Oliver Inoma-Abbey was to be installed Chief and Head of the Abbey-Hart Chieftaincy House of Bonny Kingdom before he was murdered and burnt alive by suspected members of IPOB with support of youths of Oraifite Community in Ekwusigo LGA of Anambra State.
Bonny LGA, an island community, plays host to multinational oil and gas firms such the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Shell Nigeria, Mobil Producing Nigeria Limited, Chevron Plc, among others and consequently have a large Igbo community in the area.