Gunmen storm funeral, shoot top politicians, kidnap guests in Rivers

by Udeh Isaac

Unidentified gunmen raided the Banigo Isile Ogono community of local government Bonnie on the river on Saturday, where they occasionally shot and abducted several people in bloody operations.

Some of the confirmed abductees are Sunny Hart, Thomas Alison, and Theophilus Ibiama. Bonnie David Irimaga and Bonnie MP and Chairs of the local government committee at the River State Chamber, Abini Blessing Ash, escaped assassination in the attack.

The incident took place during a funeral at Finiapiri-Ama, the Banigo Isile-Ogono community of the state government of Bonnie province. When the LGA chairman and state legislator fled, Legislative Chairman Bonnie Miriam Hart was out of luck.

Eyewitness told DAILY POST that, “Pepple, Irimagha, and Hart were among guests who were in the community to attend the funeral of late Kenneth Kalada Banigo when the gunmen who were masked struck.

“The lawmaker, local government chairman, together with other guests tried to get to the waterfront to board their boats and escape.

“The gunmen later abducted a number of persons and took them away into the nearby creeks. The matter has been reported to security agencies,” the eyewitness said.

Kingsley Jumbo, Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Pepple in a statement said, “The Rivers State lawmaker representing Bonny Constituency, Hon Abinye Blessing Pepple and the Executive Chairman of Bonny Local Government ,Hon David Rogers Irimagha earlier today escaped being abducted by masked gunmen.

“The unfortunate incident happened at Finapiri Ama (Amauda) village in Banigo Ishilegono where they attended the burial ceremony of an elder statesman in Bonny Kingdom, Late Amaopusenibo Kenneth Miebaradima Kalada Banigo when masked gunmen arrived and began shooting sporadically from the jetty.”

The Rivers State Police Command is yet to react to the development.

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