Police Arrest Three Suspects as Explosion Rocks Wike’s Father’s Church

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* PDP condemns incident, restates call for state police

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

The police have arrested three persons in connection with the attack on the Christian Universal Church International belonging to the father of Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike.

This is coming as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the attack and demanded a comprehensive investigation into the incident.

The attackers, numbering about five had sneaked into the church on 25 Azikiwe Street Mile, 3 Diobu, on Saturday night and detonated the explosives suspected to be dynamites, which damaged a significant part of the church.

Three of the arrested miscreants were said to have been apprehended by a vigilant group and handed over to the police.

The operatives of Eagle Crack, an outfit of the state police command, Mopol 19 and other security agencies were said to have cordoned off the area.

The Assistant Chief Security Officer of the Azikiwe Street Security, Collins Johnbull, told journalists that one of his men was hit by a bullet in the process of chasing the suspects.

“On Saturday, 28th November, 2020, while I was on my duty post, we observed some movements around 8pm to 9pm and we were on the alert, before then we saw some strange faces, about five of them that entered into the governor’s father’s church.

“We thought they were church members having their normal evening programme, but we were suspicious of them because of the way they were moving.

“By God’s grace, we were able to apprehend three of the criminals that attacked the church, while two escaped. We did everything in our power to apprehend the hoodlums, as we are talking now, one of my men who was hit by a bullet is receiving treatment.”

The Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, said the arrested suspects were helping the police in their investigations.

“I can confirm the attack on the Church and three suspects arrested in connection with the attack. They are helping us in our Investigation. The Church has been swept by the Bomb Department.”

Meanwhile, the PDP yesterday demanded a comprehensive investigation into the Saturday’s attack.

The main opposition party also condemned the dastardly attack on the church, which it believed was well planned and targeted to causing harm to worshippers and persons close to Governor Wike, particularly, his father.

The PDP said that it is disturbed by the intentions of the attackers in detonating an explosive in a religious place particularly given the large number of persons that usually gather at such places.

According to a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, “While we demand for a thorough investigation into the attack as well as prosecution of all those involved, we hold, as a party, that the time has come, more than ever in our contemporary history, for the amendment of our extant laws to allow state governors to be in charge of the security of their respective states.

“We restate our call for the amendment of relevant sections of the 1999 constitution (as emended) to allow states more control of security issues in their respective domains”, the PDP demanded .

The main opposition party however commended the people of River state for their alertness, which led to the arrest of the attackers, stating that such courageous act by the people also points to the need to allow greater participation of communities and state governments in the handling of security issues in their environment.

The PDP especially commended Wike for his efforts towards ensuring the security of his state despite the daunting challenges.

The PDP urged Wike, the members of the Christian Universal Church and the people of Rivers State not to be deterred by this attack but to remain at alert especially at this critical time.