From: Tony John, Port Harcourt
Gunmen have shot and killed four personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Obeafor community in Omoku, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
There was confrontation between the NSCDC operatives and suspected criminals, which led to the death of the victims on Monday.
The personnel were guarding oil facilities of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Obeafor when the bandits dressed in military fatigue ambushed them.
The state’s spokesperson of the corps, Mr. Michael Oguntuase, who confirmed the incident to journalists, in Port Harcourt said there was a gun duel between the operatives and the hoodlums, after when the operatives realised that they were not soldiers.
He said several persons, who were injured during the shootout, were taken to hospital.
He stated that the command had vowed to sustain the fight against pipeline vandalism and illegal oil bunkering in the region.
Also, the Commandant, Mrs. Helen Amakiri, who lamented the loss of the operatives, noted that the incident would only encourage them to improve and work harder.
Amakiri said it occurred at about 6.40pm, adding that the command had earlier, through intelligence gathering, got information that the Agip facilities in Omoku would be attacked.
She said security signals were sent to the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) for reinforcement and maintained that the NSCDC operatives had thought the presence of some men in camouflage at the place was a response to the call for reinforcement.
She said: “It was not as if we did not know that there was a plan to attack because we got the intelligence like three days back and we were on red alert. We had even sent some signals to the JTF to help us reinforce and beef up security at that time.”