As the date for the re-run of the the 2015 Parliamentary elections approaches, the Nigerian Army has confirmed the killing of an Army Major and a soldier in Rivers State.
Confirming the deaths in Port Harcourt to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 2 Brigade, Port Harcourt, Capt. Elli Lazarus, said a major and one soldier were killed after an exchange of gunfire with suspected sea pirates in Abonema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area.
“At about 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 17, troops on patrol in Abonema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers, had a fierce encounter with a group of unknown gunmen suspected to be sea pirates.
“Our men displayed extraordinary gallantry, but unfortunately, an officer and a soldier who sustained various degrees of injury during the encounter, lost their lives. We are currently in pursuit of the criminals and we will surely apprehend them.”
He however, urged residents of the state to go about their lawful activities without fear of molestation as the army had made necessary arrangements to ensure sustainable peace and security of lives and properties before, during and after the parliamentary elections in the state. He added that;
“All law abiding citizens are urged to remain calm and advised to go about their lawful activities. The army will continue to make necessary sacrifices to ensure sustainable peace and security of lives and property of every one in the state.”
Meanwhile, unidentified gunmen were said to have stormed the home country of the Senatorial Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Saturday’s re-run elections, Chief Andrew Uchendu, in Emohua Clan, Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State and beheaded a 28-year old man identified as Mr. Ukeoma.
The killings come barely 48 hours to the National and State Assembly re-run elections scheduled to hold in the state on Saturday, March 19.
President Mohammadu Buhari had said his government will no longer tolerate any form of violence in the region, whether before, during or after elections.
Speaking in Malabo on Tuesday, March 15, the president vowed to deal decisively with all those sponsoring violence in Rivers State.