Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Police Command has been thrown into mourning following the attack in early Monday morning on the Agudama-Ekepetiama police station in Yenagoa Local Government Area by gunmen suspected to be militants in which the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and three officers including a pregnant policewoman were killed.
According to investigations, the gunmen invaded the police station which does have a perimeter fencing from the bank of the river and caught the policemen on duty unawares, shot and killed two of them.
They were said to have taken to the DPO, Mr Ola Rossana, to the armoury and ensured they took all the guns and ammunition before they forced him to kneel down before killing him. Thereafter they moved from one room to the other searching for policemen believed to be hiding in the rooms. It was in one of the rooms that they killed the pregnant policewoman identified as Joy Wellington.
Two other policemen on patrol in the community heard the gunshots and rushed down to the station where they had a gun duel with the gunmen. They inflicted bullet wounds on them and also sustained fatal wounds and are now in critical condition at the hospital.
A reinforcement of police team from Yenagoa arrived too late as the bandits had escaped through the river in a waiting speed boat.
Community sources said the attack on the police station could be a reprisal one by suspected militants arrested for kidnapping by the Divisional Crime Officer (DCO) but were released under questionable circumstances at the headquarters Yenagoa.
The Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government, Mr Kemela Okara, stated that the Bayelsa State Government received the news of the incident with shock and disbelief.
Okara who incidentally is from the area, said the government would not spare any effort to bring the perpetrators to book.
“It is very important at times like this to first of all share our condolences with the families of those affected. I can assure you that as a government that places high premium on the security of the people and those of law enforcement officers securing out citizens, we would not take this lightly at all. We would leave no stone unturned; we would make every effort possible to bring those who committed this dastardly act to book. We would ensure that they are apprehended and faced the full wrath of the law. We cannot afford to have a state where people feel they can move into a community and kill people at will; that we cannot allow happen.
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, is said to have been irked over the development and has ordered for the arrest of the perpetrators.