Residents of the Bakana community in the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State are currently living in anxiety as youths in the area on Friday discovered two decomposing corpses buried in shallow graves close to a river.
A resident of the community, who did not want his name in print, told Southern City News that the bodies were discovered in the afternoon after some unknown gunmen entered the community on Tuesday, shot and killed three persons and took away six speed boats.
The source added that following the incident, residents of the community fled their homes in panic, a situation that had reduced business activities in the area.
He explained that although the Chairman of the Degema Local Government Area had urged the fleeing residents to return, assuring them of security, the town was still deserted.
“On Friday, members of the Bakana community discovered two corpses of persons who were killed and buried in shallow graves in the swamp near the river,” the source stated.
The President-General, Bakana Community Development Association, Iloye Braide, stated that the few persons in the town were now living in fear as a lot of the residents had fled to Port Harcourt.
He attributed the attack by the hoodlums on the community to lack of police presence in the area.
Braide said, “Everyone lives in fear in the Bakana community now to the extent that if you move a chair and it makes a sound, it scares people. For quite some time now, we have been hearing sporadic gunshots around the town.
“As we speak, not even a single chief lives in the community again; everyone now lives in Port Harcourt. Bakana does not have enough security presence. The police station there does not function, not even a single police officer is there. Because of the lack of security in the place, hoodlums enter and terrorise the people.”
When contacted, the Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the killing of two residents of Bakana by hoodlums, who attacked the community.
Omoni urged the residents, who fled the community, to return and continue their lawful activities as the police were prepared to give them the needed protection.
He noted that the police did not discriminate in their policing of communities, adding that the command deploys its men based on available manpower and resources.
According to Omoni, the Bakana community was attacked by cultists, who targeted their victims, but unfortunately, some innocent people were caught in the crossfire.
He said, “There is no discrimination as to how we police communities; we give all communities equal policing. As far as the police are concerned, Rivers State is under the Rivers State Police Command and we are doing our best based on available manpower and the limits of our resources.
“If for any reason any resident fled in the wake of the incident, they should return because since that incident, the Area Commander and units of the policemen have been there and the community residents have been going about their lawful duties.
“The community was not even under threat; what happened was that cultists invaded it. They (cultists) came for their identified targets. Unfortunately, some innocent persons got caught in the crossfire, otherwise, the community is peaceful and not under any security threat.”