Bloodshed in the Heartbeat of the Nation
NOT less than six persons, including two policemen and a private security man, were killed on Tuesday evening when dare-devil armed robbers invaded Igarra, headquarters of Akoko-Edo Local Council of Edo State.
The robbers were said to have stormed the town in two Sienna buses around 6.00 p.m. in a commando style by first taking over the police station where they killed two policemen.
The other robbers went straight to the bank where they were said to have destroyed the entry to one of the banks with explosives.
During the operation, the suspected robbers killed a private security man in the bank and three other persons, one said to be a commercial motorcycle rider while the others were said to be customers, apparently in the bank premises to use ATM.
There are two banks in Igarra- Unity Bank and Keystone, both situated opposite each other along Momodu Ajayi Road.
However, luck was said to have ran out on the robbers as vigilance groups quickly mobilised and barricaded their exit route along Ekpedo-Ekpe Road, near the council’s border with Kogi State, where one of them was reportedly killed and another arrested and one of their vehicles impounded.
A leader of the vigilance group in the area told The Guardian that “when they started the operation in Igarra, we quickly mobilised our people around the surrounding villages because they came through Lampese to Ososo and down to Igarra. They also went back through the axis passing through Enwan and our men barricaded their route and there was exchange of gunfire.
One of them was killed. Another was arrested while many escaped with gunshot wounds. They also impounded one of the vehicles they used.
Efforts to get police reaction to the incident was not successful, as the police in Igarra referred journalists to the Command headquarters in Benin City.
The telephone lines of the new Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Stanley Osifo, could not be reached while the receiver in a call to the Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike, referred reporters to the office of the PPRO.
As at the time of this report, the entire Igarra community was in a mournful mood even as a leade, who spoke on terms of anonymity complained of the porous security situation in the community.
“All the entry points to Igarra from all flanks are open, we need more security in this place. We have been abandoned to our fate.”