Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting
YET-to-be-identified gunmen, but suspected to be cultists, have ‘wasted’ a policeman in Ughelli, Delta State, throwing residents into fear and mourning.
Stonix News reports that Ughelli and environs have become a hotbed of assorted gunmen comprising cultists, Yahoo Yahoo boys and the like, maiming and killing innocent souls at will.
This is coming in spite of the sustained crack on the miscreants by operatives of the Delta State Police Command led by CP Wale Abass since he assumed duty recently.
The deceased police officer, identified as Jude Ukpaka, was said to be attached to Dragon 19 Security Patrol Team of the Ughelli Area Command.
He was despatched to his early grave and his Ak-47 service rifle taken away by the suspected gunmen along the Ogor-Evwreni-Ughelli axis of the East-West Road in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state.
The officer and two of his colleagues were reportedly attacked at a check-point on Wednesday between 5:00pm and 6:00p.m on Wednesday, July 12, 2023.
An earlier attack on travellers at same axis had reportedly occurred in the early hours of Wednesday before the dastard killing of the police officer in the evening of the same day.
Stonix News recalled that barely two months ago, two police officers, PC Ujeyah Matthew and Sergeant Ijebu, attached to Ofuoma Division of the Delta State Police Command, were ‘wasted’ and their guns carted away at Ekredjebor community in Ughelli North.
The Delta State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bright Edafe, hasn’t responded to the incident as of the time of filing the report.
It was, however, gathered that the other officers, who were also attacked, escaped into the swamp and far from harm’s way.
“They ran into swamp until they were rescued by another team of police officers from Ughelli Area Command, while the remains of the deceased officer has been deposited at the morgue,” a security source noted.
Meanwhile, some residents of the area have blamed police for allegedly setting at liberty some arrested criminals who pretended to be “yahoo boys,” after collecting huge sums from them.
“How will police officers on check-point arrest a criminal under the guise of “yahoo boys” and driving recklessly, threatening to kill police officers, yet on getting to the station, top police officers will collect money and free them just like that?
“Some even come out boasting that ‘I told you I will come out, nothing dey happen,'” a resident lamented.
Residents of the area have, therefore, expressed worries and loss of confidence in the Nigeria Police Force whom they accused of not being able to protect themselves let alone residents.
Subsequently, crimes in Ughelli and environs are seen as safe havens for cultists, “yahoo boys” and other criminals who operate and kill in broad daylight unhindered.
Residents are, therefore, calling on the Commissioner of Police, Delta State Police Command, Wale Abass, to restructure the various police divisions and area commands in order to arrest the menace of crime in the area.