Gunmen on Wednesday, beheaded an Assistant Superintendent of Police, simply identified as Linus, on East Street, Ndiegoro, Aba, Abia State.
The assailants were said to have attacked the police team at Tenant Road junction by East Street, at about 5am.
Reports said that on sighting the hoodlums, the policemen allegedly fled and, during an exchange of gunfire, the gunmen overpowered the ASP, popularly known as ‘Agbalagba’, and cut off his head.
A resident, who pleaded anonymity, told Vanguard that the killing had sent fears into the residents of East Street, Ngwa Road, Akpu Road, Ndoki Street, Etche Road and Ulasi Road, all within the Ndiegoro, as the criminals were said to have threatened to attack more policemen and residents of the area.
The resident said: “With what we heard, they said they have declared war on police and the residents. I don’t know what happened, but with the way they killed the policeman, with his head removed, and how we heard they were shooting during the attack, it shows that there’s a problem in Aba.”
A retired police officer, who spoke to Vanguard, on condition of anonymity, noted that with the threat to attack more policemen in Aba, it was time for the Inspector General of Police, the Commissioner of Police and other security heads in the city to pay attention to what was happening in Ndiegoro, especially the areas linking it with Ogbor-Hill.
He said: “The police officer that was killed on Tenant Road by East Street had his head cut off, his arms carted away and his uniform taken away as well. What does that tell you? The criminal activities are becoming too much, yet the Commissioner of Police in Abia is behaving as if nothing is happening.
“I don’t know if the IGP is not getting reports of how these boys are causing fear and threatening his men on duty. Aba needs more police manpower. We have only eight functional police stations policing urban areas of the five local governments in Aba.
“Do the Ohuru-Isimiri Division, Ndiegoro Division, Central Police Station, Uratta Division, Eziama Division, Azuka Division, Abayi Division and Osisioma Ngwa Division have the manpower and equipment to handle what’s currently unfolding here? Even the presence of Mopol 55, Rapid Response Squad, RRS, in Eziama and the anti-kidnaping unit, Aba Annex in Ndiegoro boundary with Ovom is not enough.
“Aba is densely populated and places like this Ndiegoro and the other side of the River (Ogbor-Hill) and even the Umunkama are crime prone. This is exactly why this city called Aba is not expanding. The IGP and the Commissioner must act fast and take away these areas from the hands of criminals who have occupied them before it is too late.”
Efforts by Vanguard to get the reaction of the Police Public Relations Officer, Abia State Command, Geoffrey Ogbonna, were not successful at press time, as he did not respond to the calls and messages placed on his cellphone.