Tony John, Port Harcourt
Security has been beefed up around the church belonging to the father of the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, which was attacked with dynamites on Saturday night by suspected arsonists in Port Harcourt.
Security operatives have also condoned off Ikokwu Junction to Azikiwe Street, where the church, Christian Universal Church International, is located in the state capital. Among the tactical units of the police present were the Anti-Bomb Squad, which had earlier carried out assessment of the church premises, and Eagle Crack (E-Crack).
Police chiefs that visited the scene of the incident include Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of Port Harcourt Area Command, ACP Bassey, Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB).
Also, the governor’s father was said to have visited the church around 10am yesterday. Some members of his immediate family accompanied him on the visit to ascertain the level of damage.
But, they were denied entry by security agents because of unsafe nature of the building. The chairman and Mayor of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area (PHALGA), Victor Ihunwo, also visited the scene.
Meanwhile, the state police public relations officer, Nnamdi Omoni, a Superintendent of Police, has confirmed the arrest of three persons suspected to be involved in the attack. Omoni disclosed that the suspects were assisting police in their investigation, adding that the bomb department has swept the church. He said: “I can confirm the attack on the church and three suspects have been arrested in connection with the attack.
“They are helping us in our investigation. The church has been swept by the bomb department.”
The police spokesman alleged that suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were responsible for the attack. At the time of filing the report, the street was closed to both human and vehicular movement.