February 5, 2023

Campaign violence: Four killed in C/River, Kaduna as gunmen attack guber, HoR candidates

By Ike Uchechukwu & Ibrahim Hassan

At least, four persons were killed and four others abducted by gunmen in separate attacks in Cross River and Kaduna states.

While the Cross River incident involved the governorship candidate of the People Redemption Party, PRP, Pastor Usani Uguri Usani, along the Calabar-Ikom highway, Betem, in Biase local government area, the Kaduna attack was targeted at the Labour Party’s House of Representatives candidate for Lere Federal Constituency, Suleiman Tambaya.

Usani was on his way to his home town in Nko, Yakurr LGA, alongside his running mate and other supporters.

Confirming the incident to Sunday Vanguard via telephone, the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Sule Balarabe, said a white Ford with registration number AAA 41 AQ was ambushed by hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers at about 3:45 pm around Betem axis of Ikom Calabar highway on Friday.

“They opened fire on the vehicle killing two yet-to-be-identified persons while abducting three others. The vehicle in which they killed two persons had seven occupants including two police officers, ASP Ibor Bassey and Insp. Ebro Ebri, who escaped and called for reinforcement.

“A tactical Unit was immediately dispatched to the area and three persons have so far been rescued; namely Barr Egbe Eworo, Arit Chelsea and Victor Akpan all members of PRP,” Balabare said.

The CP, however, appealed to communities along that axis to give the police useful information on a dedicated line: 07044470000.

When contacted, the media aide to PRP governorship candidate, Mr David Agabi, said his principal was in good condition. According to him, “four persons were abducted but as I speak to you, only three have regained freedom, and one person is still missing. My principal is in good condition.”

Similarly, gunmen who invaded Tambaya’s residence at Gure village in Lere LGA on Friday night, killed two persons 

Speaking on the incident, Tambaya said it would have been a different story if not for divine intervention and the prompt response from the members of the community and local vigilante in the area.

He said: “I was planning to go home yesterday (Friday), but I spoke to our governorship candidate and he asked me to come and see him. That was when I diverted and came to Kaduna.

“At about 10:00 pm on Friday, some seven armed men came to my house in my village, Gure, asking about my whereabouts saying I am supposed to be home. “Some young men in my house were able to escape and raised an alarm; members of the community came and the vigilante too came out and confronted them. But unfortunately, along the process, the gunmen killed two of our boys. One of the boys died on the spot while the other died at the hospital.”

Tambaya added that the matter was reported to the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, who promptly mobilise personnel to the scene of the incident.

The Kaduna State police command was yet to react to the incident.

Recall that in November 2022, an LP women leader, Mrs. Victoria Chimtex, was killed in her residence at Kaura LGA of the state.