Army Confirms Killing Of Soldiers In River State

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike

The Nigerian has confirmed the killing of two of its men in Abonemma, Rivers State, ahead of Saturday’s National and State Assembly rerun elections.

A statement signed by Eli Lazarus, an Assistant Director, Army Public Relations of the 2nd Brigade in Port Harcourt on Thursday evening said that “an officer and a soldier who sustained various degree of injury lost their lives” in an encounter between troops in Abonemma and “unknown gunmen suspected to be sea pirates.”

According to Lazarus, the incident occurred at about 11.00 am on Thursday. He added that the army was in pursuit of the attackers and “will surely get them.”

“Our men displayed extraordinary gallantry during the encounter,” the statement noted, adding that that the army would continue to make necessary sacrifice to guarantee peace and security of lives and property of residents of the state.

Media reports had earlier indicated that a Major and three other soldiers had been killed in the attack.

Elections are being conducted in three senatorial districts, 12 federal constituencies and 22 state constituencies on Saturday in Rivers State following of the annulment of previous poll in the areas by the Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja.

The rerun elections in Rivers State, many Nigerians fear, might turn out to be violent as the two major contending parties are poised to do everything to gain political grounds using the poll.






     

     

    The State governor, Nyesom Wike, on campaign trains in the last few weeks has warned that any attempt to rig the polls will be resisted by the people.

    Tension had heightened in the state before the news of the killing of the soldiers broke after a Rivers State High Court restrained the military authorities from deploying soldiers for the Saturday elections.

    Justice George Omereji in delivering judgement in a suit filed by the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State, Felix Obuah, restrained the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff and the Commander of the Army Amphibious Brigade from deploying soldiers for the rerun election on Saturday.

    “That an order of interim order be made and is hereby made restraining , Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Brigade Commander, 2nd Amphibious Brigade, whether by themselves, their agents, servants, officers and operatives or privies from interfering with the applicants right to freely participate in the government of Nigeria either directly or through free chosen representatives, threatens to arrest, harass, intimidate, torture , incarcerate the applicants and their members during the rerun elections for the State and National Assembly on 19th March, 2016,” the judge ruled.
     

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