By Davies Iheamnachor, PORT HARCOURT
The Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said the State would give N20 million to each of the families of the eleven policemen killed by the unknown gunmen in the state.
The governor according to a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, announced this during a condolence visit to the Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka, and officers of the State Police Command yesterday, urged police to henceforth be on the offensive against those who perpetrated the acts.
Wike, while addressing officers and men at the Police Officers Mess in Port Harcourt, said his visit was to commiserate with them over the death of some of their colleagues who lost their lives in the line of duty while protecting the State.
He acknowledged that though no amount of money could equate to human life, the State’s gesture was aimed at assuaging the bereaved families that their loved ones never died in vain.
The governor described as heart-wrenching the unwarranted killing of policemen who were legitimately protecting the lives and property of citizens of the country.
Wike said: “In the past two to three weeks, we have lost eleven police officers and men. This is a dark period for us in the State.”
He lamented that those who carried out the dastardly killings have coldheartedly turned the wives of the slain policemen to widows and rendered their children, fatherless for no just cause.
Governor Wike charged the State Police Command to be more proactive to ward off further attacks and resolve never again to condone the killing of its personnel by those who are bent on instigating crisis in the country.
“We must be united to fight for this country to be one. We must not allow anyone to talk about secession. If you want to secede, Rivers State is not part of it, and nobody can cow Rivers State to be part of it. Not under my watch will I allow that.”
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Friday Eboka on behalf of the Acting Inspector General of Police, Alkali Usman, thanked the governor for assuaging the pain of the bereaved families.
Eboka told the governor that the armed men who attacked three different police formations for no justifiable reason gruesomely killed seven officers, noting that two officers who sustained bullet injuries are receiving treatment.
The CP said: “It is noteworthy that the hoodlums did not escape without suffering fatalities, as two of them lost their lives and their Hilux riddled with bullets was abandoned. Thanks to RRT Commander and other Tactical Teams who responded to the distress call.”
“Your visit today will further boost their morals. I, therefore, want to use this opportunity to reassure the good people of Rivers State of our resolve to continue to protect their lives and property.”