Gunmen on Christmas eve attacked the residence of former President Goodluck Jonathan in Bayelsa State leading to the death of a soldier.
As many natives of Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s community were preparing for a peaceful 2019 Christmas celebrations, little did they know that men of the underworld were planning to launch a coordinated deadly attack on the residence of the former Nigerian leader on Christmas eve.
The deadly attack at the security post of the former President Jonathan’s Country Home had reportedly led to the death of one soldier on guard, while two others sustained severe injuries. Also, three members of the criminal gang were reportedly killed in the process.
The attack which occurred at the early hours of Tuesday, December 24, 2019, precisely at about 2am, was targeted at Jonathan’s main building and it was expected that the ex-president will be at his residence by that time, but unfortunately to the daredevil criminals, Jonathan had spent the night in Yenagoa shortly after arriving his home state for the Christmas celebrations. To many residents of Otuoke and Bayelsa State in general, it was unfortunate that the suspected criminals decided to carry out their heinous act when Christians were preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, not minding that the season was meant to be a peaceful and lovely one.
Daily Trust Saturday gathered that shortly after the criminal gang arrived with gunboats at the nearby water front, they engaged soldiers who were on surveillance at the water front in shooting, while their advanced team who were already on ground was approaching the residence, though, they were over-powered by the superior firepower of the military men on guard.
Just a day before, a Commissioner’s residence in Yenagoa was invaded by gunmen and his six-year-old abducted.
Early in the year, a military post at Azagbene creek was attacked and some soldiers killed, while their riffles carted away. Also, a police division in Ekpetiama was also attacked, some police officers including the DPO were killed and riffles carted away amongst several others.
Already, the joint military force deployed to the Niger Delta, “Operation Delta Safe” has confirmed the death of one soldier and injury of another in the attack at a gunboat stationed behind Ex-President Jonathan’s residence.
The spokesperson of “Operation Delta Safe” Major Jonah Unuakhalu in a statement said: “Unidentified gunmen suspected to be militants on Tuesday morning attacked a security post near Jonathan’s Otuoke country home at about 3.00 am when the former President was supposed to be at home for the yuletide.
“Jonathan was however not present at the time of the incidents, but the military has launched a manhunt for the gunmen in the creeks and waterways.
“The vigilant troops repelled the attack while some of the assailants escaped with gunshot wounds. However, during the attack one soldier paid the supreme price and another wounded in action,” he said.
Also, Governor Seriake Dickson condemned in strong terms the attack on a military post near former President Jonathan’s house in Ogbia Local Government Area of the State. The Governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Fidelis Soriwei, described the act as reprehensible and condemnable.
The Governor called on residents of Bayelsa and indeed Nigerians of good conscience to rise against the killing of innocent security operatives on a mission to maintain peace and security. He called on the police and the other security agencies to ensure that those behind the dastardly act are arrested and brought to justice.
He also urged the police and the security agencies to increase presence in the state to prevent the hoodlums from wreaking havoc. The Governor commiserated with family members of the security personnel who reportedly died in the attack.
Meanwhile, the former President Jonathan condemned the attack and reassured his people that there was no cause for alarm. He also condoled with the family of the deceased soldier, the military and urged the concerned security authorities to swing into action and bring the culprits to book.
Jonathan in a statement by his media adviser, Mr Ikechukwu Eze, said that the hoodlums who came in about five engine boats stormed the security post located about 100 metres away from former President Jonathan’s residence in his hometown Otuoke by 1:30a.m. on Tuesday and attempted to take away a gunboat belonging to the military stationed at the creek beside the residence.
Meanwhile, men of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies have cordoned off the area and have increased surveillance in the creeks and waterways around Otuoke and Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.