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Armed men attack Niger Delta Minister Orubebe’s country home

GODSDAY ORUBEBE, Minister for Niger Delta Affairs

On 24 January, a group of armed men attacked the country home of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, in Ogbubagbene community, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.

The men, armed with AK-47 rifles and explosives, invaded the riverside community after midnight and blew up the main gate to the house, using an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Some residents reported hearing a loud blast around 12.45am. 

Reports said the invaders thereafter ransacked the house, looting vital property which they loaded unto their speed boats. The invaders then torched the multi-million naira building and conference centre, as well as a property owned by the minister’s mother, before fleeing the community.

The motive of the attackers was not yet established. Some residents speculated that they may have been armed robbers, acting on allegations that the minister had kept a large amount of money in the house. Others said the attack may have been staged by ex-militants or other interests in the Niger Delta, who had accused the minister of “not carrying them along” in the award of contracts by his ministry.

However, Orubebe himself alleged that the attack was politically motivated. He claimed that, from the report available to him, the attackers were loyalists of the Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva. He said: “They claimed that they carried out the action to protest my roles in the exclusion of Governor Timipre Sylva from the governorship election in February. They said I was part of the syndicate that denied the governor the second ticket”.

Governor Sylva, speaking through his Commissioner for Information, Mr. Nathan Egba, promptly dismissed the Minister’s allegation as unfounded and baseless.

On receiving the report of the incident, the Commissioner of Police in Delta State, Mr. Ibrahim Tsafe, directed the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Burutu Local Government Area to send men to Ogbobagbene community, for first-hand assessment of the incident and also for speedy investigations.


Fire at residence of Pastor Tunde Bakare, CPC’s vice presidential candidate

Pastor TUNDE BAKARE, Presidential running mate, CPC

On 22 April, the residence of the vice presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Pastor Tunde Bakare, in Lagos, was gutted by fire; but no life was lost.

Family members and neighbours at the building located on Awuse Estate, Opebi, Lagos, said the fire started at about 4pm. No one could not identify what caused it or where exactly it started from.

They said as soon as they noticed the smoke and flames, they alerted the fire service department, but before fire-fighters arrived, an entire section of the building had been burnt. However, the fire-men and neighbours eventually put out the fire.

The police public relations officer, Lagos State Police command, Mr. Samuel Jinadu, told newsmen that the cause of the fire was not yet known. He however confirmed that policemen had been drafted to Pastor Bakare’s residence to ensure security.

Mob attacks, sets ablaze residence of Engr. Mohammed Idris, former Keffi LG Chairman

On 20 April, a mob attacked the home of Engr. Mohammed Idris, former chairman of Keffi Local Council in Nassarawa State, over the outcome of the 16 April presidential election in the state.

In the final results issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) scored 58.9 per cent of the votes in the state, beating the opposition Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) which recorded 40.1 per cent. CPC supporters insist the poll was rigged and there has been tension in some parts of the state since the election results were announced. Idris is a member of the PDP.

The mob, which broke into his residence along Abdullahi Maigari Street, Keffi, at about 3.30am that morning, appear to have been opposition supporters. One of Idris’ neighbours told newsmen that the mob came “chanting anti-PDP slogans”. He further said that: “They did not invade the whole area. Their aim was to capture Idris’ house”.

The attackers had overpowered the security officer guarding the house and were attempting to set the building ablaze with the occupants still inside. However, concerned neighbours who saw what was about to happen raised alarm, mobilized to the house and repelled the mob. A part of the house and a new Mitsubishi jeep belonging to Idris were already in flames.

Idris said he called the police but that the mob had fled before the police rescue team arrived. Mr Richard Akoji, public relations officer of the Nassarawa State Police Command in the state capital, Lafia, said his office was yet receive a formal report on the incident from the police division in Keffi.

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