SECURITY TIGHTENS, AS CRIMINALS INVADE IKA LAND

Security agents in Ika metropolis and environs are beginning to put more efforts towards curbing the rate of armed robbery incidents in the area. Bothered by the number of distress calls from residents of the area and the wanton destruction of lives and properties of innocent citizens, the police, military and other security agents in the area have also swung into action in their bid to fish out undesirable elements among the people.

In one of their operations in the early morning of Friday, September, 11, 2009 it was gathered, from a reliable source, that the security agents after receiving a call from a resident near a public school in Boji Boji, Owa, Ika North East Local Government Area quickly swung into action. On getting to the building it was alleged that the robbers were seen by the security agents, which led to an exchange of fire. Upon which one of them was gunned down. The next day when the which place was being searched for possible clue it was gathered that in the process a wallet belonging to one of the suspects, containing a commercial bank passbook and other personal item were found near the fence of the building where they scaled through to gain entrance into the building. It was with the passbook, the source told Ika Weekly, that the suspects were traced to their hideout. During the exhange of gunfire it was gathered that one of them was gunned down, while another was also shot at some few hours later.

In another development at about 8.00pm in the night of same Friday, September 11, 2009 a police highway patrol team had an encounter with a gang of notorious armed robbers who terrorize travelers along Agbor-Abuja, Agbor-Benin and Agbor-Asaba express roads.

From a reliable source it was alleged that one of the suspects, who gave his name as Mr. Kabiru Tambaya, said that he was from Katsina State in the Northern part of the country, and that they were a gang of fourteen, including 4 members who are of Ika origin. He said that on that Friday night three of the gang members went to the railway end of the expressway close of Emuhu village, Ika South Local Government Area, in which they were to rob a passenger bus. Luck however ran out of them when, after the bus had successfully maneuvered through their midst, they were met by the team of police patrol who also posed as travelers in a Peugeot 504 saloon car, as they switched off their vehicle hand lamp. On realizing that the men in the car were policemen, Mr. Tambaya, who said that the three of them that were on the road that night were all Fulanis, also stated that they quickly ran into the bush, but he was shot at the leg by men of the highway patrol team. He explained that owing to the bullet wound in his leg he could not walk out of the bush which made him to remain there until the morning of Wednesday, September 16, 2009, when a highway patrol team saw him and brought him to the Agbor police station. He went further to say that he did not know the whereabout of the other two persons who, he was hoping, would have come to his rescue. Meanwhile Mr. Tambaya said he did not know until he got to the station, that on the night of that Friday, when they went to rob, one of his colleagues was gunned down, and the other suspect also escaped through the bush.

Mr. Tambaya whose leg was said to be emitting foul odour as at the time of his capture, said that he trades in Onions at the Musa slaughter, near Uromi Junction, Ika South Local Government Area. But engages in robbery activities in the night. He said that the gang do operate with locally made pistol and sometimes, with toy guns in order to scare away on-coming vehicles during their operations.

The upsurge of criminal activities in the community is beginning to catch the attention of residents in Ika land. Another source who spoke to Ika Weekly on grounds of anonymity gave three reasons for the present situation. He said that the lightering ASSU strike, which has made many students that are supposed to be studying in their different schools, but are now roaming about towns and villages, not having anything to do, have contributed to criminal activities to the area. "The devil, they say, finds work for an idle mind," he noted. Secondly, he said that the present situation in the Niger-Delta has made many militants to begin to relocate to different areas which also includes the Boji-Boji metropolis and that it could be noted that criminal activities in the land has almost doubled, if compared with previous situations. He also noted that the prescience of some immigrants from the North and especially from chard and Niger Republic, have increased the rate of criminal activities, not only in Ika community, but also within the state. The source however praised the efforts of the security agents in the state and Ika community for combating crime, saying that with their presence it is the hope of everyone that there will be peace in the land in the very near future.

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