By Ozioruva Aliu
THE Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Igarra Police Station in Akoko-Edo local government area, of Edo State, Suleiman Muhammed, has been reportedly shot by suspected kidnappers along the Auchi-Igarra-Ibillo road.
The incident which happened on Tuesday a few metres before Sasaro around 7 pm led to commuters becoming stranded until the local vigilante group went to evacuate the seriously injured officer whose assailants were said to have thought he was dead and cleared the road.
Narrating the incident Tuesday, a member of the vigilante group from Igarra said the DPO was shot in the eyes, arm, and stomach adding that he may have been shot with an AK-47 as they recovered bullets and other cartridges from the scene of the attack.
He said “The DPO had earlier called us in the morning to a place where they said some suspected yahoo boys constituted a nuisance, then later around 3 pm, he told us that these suspected kidnappers were blocking the road, so we went there and chased them away.
“I was told that later in the evening after inspecting the change of guard, the DPO proceeded in his Toyota Camry car to Auchi where his family resides. The people laid ambush after the near Sasaro and shot him severally, I believe they thought he was dead and then abandoned him.
“Their gunshots made motorists going and coming from Auchi stopped until we arrived at the scene in the company of the police to rush the DPO to the hospital. He was bleeding profusely because he was shot in the eyes, arm, and stomach; after stabilising him, he was rushed to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital.
“This morning (Wednesday) I and my boys went back to the scene and we recovered used bullets including those of AK 47 and cartridges.”
Another leader of the vigilante group attributed the rising presence of kidnappers in that axis to a community along that road that has been accused of renting part of its land to herdsmen for grazing.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the Edo State Command, Kontongs Bello was said to be on an official assignment out of the state but sources at the command said they are awaiting official details of the incident.