There was pandemonium on Monday at Cable Point area of Asaba, capital of Delta State, when armed hoodlums suspected to be Fulani herdsmen attacked a police patrol van attached to the 'C Division', Delta State Police Command in Asaba, leaving one of the five officers dead and one in critical condition while three others escaped.
SaharaReporters learnt that the herdsmen, who were said to have ambushed the five police van at about 8:30pm, attacked the police officers with machetes and other dangerous weapons, and thereafter carted away two AK 47 rifles that were abandoned by the fleeing policemen.
According to eyewitnesses, two of the policemen were severely cut with machetes while the other three escaped with various degrees of severe injuries. One of the attacked policemen later died at the hospital as a result of excessive loss of blood.
Contacted, the Delta state Police Commissioner, Mr. Muhammad Mustafa, confirmed the incident but stated that the attack was carried out by armed hoodlums. He added that some suspects connected to the incidents had been arrested while investigations had commenced.
This latest attack would bring the number of cases of attacks on police patrol teams in Asaba by gunmen to three within the space of two months.
Two months ago, two AK 47 rifles were reportedly taken away in a similar attack at Isse-Asagba.
In a related development, communities in Warri, metropolis namely, Pessu, Odion, Lower, Cemetery road, Garage, Ogboru, Ometa, Igbudu, Ginuwa, and Stadium road, among others, in the state have raise the alarm over the return of criminals to the metropolis.
The communities' cry is coming barely four weeks after the redeployment of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), B' Division headquarters, Warri Area Command, Mr. Anietie Eyoh, albeit controversially.
According to the communities, hoodlums, who had been hitherto flushed out of the metropolis by the sheer gallantry of Anietie, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), have returned in full force, holding the hitherto placid oil-rich city by the jugular.
Investigations revealed that no fewer than five persons, as of the last count, had fallen to the firepower of armed robbers and cultists in various parts of the metropolis, mostly in the broad daylight, while scores of innocent residents have been dispossessed of their hard earned-money and valuables while some are in various hospitals receiving treatments.
Chairman of Pessu community, Mr Godwin Kokwe, who escaped death by the whiskers in the hands of gunmen last week, disclosed that within a week of Eyoh's exit, three people had been killed while another account said no fewer than five persons had been killed in other parts of the metropolis.
"One person was killed at Lower Erejuwa and two at Pessu and scores robbed of their monies at Jeddo, Egbokodo, and Cemetery road. Cultists and armed robbers are now on the prowl. The city has become porous with armed robbers using tricycle to rob and shoot people," he lamented.
"I was pusued by cultists from my office and shot. I escaped by God's grace. It's now dangerous to walk between Stadium road and Garage with your phones. The boys will waylay you and collect everything on you. It was not so before. We're very helpless now. Eyoh was the one backing the vigilance team."