Diobu in Port Harcourt, Rivers State seems to be turning to battleground for cult groups despite assurances from the Rivers State Police command to curtail rising incidence of gang clashes.
Eyewitness account has it that a man in his mid thirties was shot dead at Lumuber/Awkuzu, Mile 1 Diobu by suspected cultists Sunday night . Residents told our reporter that a Police patrol van visited the scene on Monday morning and left after inspection of the corpse.
Suspected gang members numbering over fifty mounted road block at Urualla/Abakiliki street same Sunday, robbing passersby and motorists.
One of the victims, Tony Dike in an interview with our reporter said “on Sunday night at about 9pm, the bandits mounted road block at Uruala/Abakiliki junction, Mile 1 Diobu, Port Harcourt and robbed passerby, motorists and road users.
“At Abakiliki/Urualla junction some hoodlums on black and black, stopped my car with heavy stones.
“They shot into the air and said I should come down from the car, they started flogging and machetting, they collected my phones and the money I had on me (one hundred and eighty thousand naira).
At that moment they said I should come down from the car .When I saw that they wanted to collect the car. I had to put my car on reverse as if I want to come down from the car. Four of them wanted to enter the car, I had to speed off.
“I had to rush down to Police station to make my entry. I made my entry at Mile 1 Police station. They were holding guns, knives, broken bottles, stones, axe all sorts of weapons. They were more than fifty in numbers.
“The place was dark, there was no light when the incident happened to me, another Jeep was coming from my back .The Jeep man noticed the incident and tried to reverse and entered the gutter. With the force I moved with, I don’t know what happened to the Jeep guy.”
The Rivers State Police command has confirmed the death of a yet to be identified man who was being chased by armed men along Illoabuchi street, Diobu axis on Saturday night.
SP Grace Iringe Koko, spokesperson for the Rivers State Police command in an interview with our reporter said about three armed men were chasing the man along Illoabouchi when he hit a pavement and sustained serious injuries.
SP Koko said the man was rushed to hospital by a good Samaritan where he was confirmed dead.
Meanwhile, eyewitness who pleaded anonymity told our reporter that the assailants who were driving in a vehicle shot severally at the deceased when he got to Emenike/Illoobuchi street, Mile 2 Diobu, Port Harcourt.
The eyewitness stated that the gunmen zoomed off immediately they shot severally at the man.
Our reporter who visited the scene minutes after the incident, saw Police patrol vans attached to Diobu Divisional Police headquarters, Mile 1, and Azikiwe Divisional Police headquarters at the scene.
Sources say the incident may not be unconnected to the supremacy and territorial control battle between two armed gangs.
Also recall that last week Wednesday night, April 19, at about 7:55pm, suspected gang members shot a man in his mid twenties popularly known as ‘Asari’ dead at Ekwe/Ikwerre road, Mile 3 Diobu, Port Harcourt.
Eyewitness account disclosed to our reporter that the said ‘Asari’ was standing with some persons when about five armed men came out from a car and shot him thrice and fled the scene.
We learned that the shooting caused serious chaos as passersby, road users and commuters scampered for safety while roadside traders within the scene closed business for the day.
In an interview with our reporter, Comrade Godstime Ihunwo, Chief Security Officer (CSO) of Nkpolu Oroworukwo Mile 3, under Diobu vigilante said
“At about 8pm today 19th April 2023, we heard two gunshots at IKwerre road/Ekwe street opposite Bishop Okoye street and quickly rushed down to the scene and saw a young man known and called ‘Asari’ lying dead and immediately we approached the Nkpolu Police station to tender our report .
“As we and the Police were coming back to inspect the corpse, we got a report that some unknown gunmen drove with one Jetta and one Mazda and made away with the corpse”.
Similarly, two were reported dead in Sangana but the Police said no official report was made.
SP Grace Iringe Koko in an interview with our reporter disclosed that the Divisional Police headquaters in the area has not received any report of shooting or killing.
Some business owners told our reporter that gunmen invaded Sangana/rail axis last week Friday night, April 21, in search for their rivals and shot sporadically, and reportedly killed two persons.
Our source disclosed that the dead bodies of the deceased were carted away by the Killers.
Meanwhile, the Commander of Diobu vigilante, Prince Amatari in an interview said the Police failed to act on intelligence the group passed on to the security agents prior to the gang crisis.