5 poker players killed in Nigerian state eve of polls

Gunmen on Friday killed five persons and injured seven others at the Bagadaza area of the Gombe metropolis in Gombe State, less than 24 hours to the local council elections, that the police claimed would be free of violence

A report by the News Agency of Nigeria said that the gunmen, suspected to be Boko Haram members, came to the place on auto-bike and met the victims playing cards at about 4 p.m., shot at them and killed five instantly.

Among he injured was a policeman attached to Government House, Gombe,.

He, along with others were taken to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Gombe for treatment at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospital.

The incident drew the attention of scores of relations of the victims who trooped to the hospital to know the fate of their their relations.

A wife to one of the injured persons, Mrs Kate Philibus, told NAN that she was called and informed that her husband had been shot and was at the FMC.

“I was not there, they called and informed me that he has been shot on the arm and I am just arriving,” she said.

A father to one of the survivors, Mr Bulus Chiroma, told newsmen that her daughter who worked at a provision store in Gombe was lucky to have entered a house when the gunmen arrived.

He said that although his daughter was also among the victims conveyed to the centre, she was however, safe.

A policeman told NAN on condition of anonymity that residents of the area stopped security personnel from conveying the corpses to their respective homes.

According to him, the people insisted that they must see either the commissioner of police or the governor of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo before releasing the bodies.

Contacted, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Mohammed Sule, confirmed the incident.

He said that he was waiting for the details from the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the area.

“It is unfortunate though I have not gotten the real details. It is in one slum. I am just returning and I have asked the DPO to come and tell me what happened,” he said.

The police public relations officer, Fwaje Atajiri later claimed that one of the gunmen was arrested at the scene of the attack.

Meanwhile, the Police in Gombe State said adequate personnel had been deployed to ensure peaceful council elections in the state on Saturday.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Fwaje Atajiri said that police officers and men would be deployed to man all the 2,218 polling units in the state to ensure smooth polls.

Fwaje said that all borders leading to the state would be secured, adding that the command had drawn an operation order which would be carried out to the latter to ensure hitch-free polls.

“We are ready to ensure that no crime is committed in the course of the elections.

“All the polling units in the 11 local government areas of the state will be fully manned by our officers and men.

“We are assuring the public that the police are prepared to ensure peaceful elections; as our operation order will be carried out to the latter,’’ he said.

He appealed to all political party supporters to conduct themselves orderly during and after the elections.

The police spokesperson, however, warned that the police would not condone any act of lawlessness. (NAN)

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