LESS than a week after the District Police Officer (DPO), B’ Division Headquarters, Warri Area Command, Mr Eyoh Anietie, was redeployed albeit controversially, communities in Warri metropolis have been thrown into a state of fear and mourning.
This is so as hoodlums, who had been hitherto flushed out of the metropolis by the sheer gallantry of Anietie, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), have returned in full force, holding the hitherto placid oil-rich city by the jugular.
Investigations by TribuneOnline over the week revealed that no fewer than five persons, as of the last count, had fallen to the firepower of armed robbers and cultists in various parts of the metropolis.
Besides, scores of innocent residents have been dispossessed of their hard earned money and other belongings while some are in various hospitals receiving treatments.
In fact, TribuneOnline gathered that some residents are beginning to relocate from the city to other safer parts of the state as criminal activities have resumed fully after the exit of Mr Eyoh, whom they said, had tamed them.
Men of the underworld were said to have descended into a riotous jubilation when the news filtered into the city that their nemesis, CSP Eyoh, had been redeployed abruptly to B’ Division, Asaba without a proper handing over.
Communities in Warri metropolis feeling the present heat include Pessu, Odion, Lower, Cemetery road, Garage, Ogboru, Ometa, Igbudu, Ginuwa, and Stadium road, among others.
Chairman of Pessu community, Mr Godwin Kuku, who escaped death by the whiskers in the hands of gunmen last week, told Nigerian Tribune that within a week of Eyoh’s exit, three people had been killed. Another account said no fewer than five persons had been killed in other parts of the metropolis.
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One deceased, he said, was killed at Lower Erejuwa and two at Pessu and scores robbed of their monies at Jeddo, Egbokodo, and Cemetery road.
“Cultists and armed robbers are now on the prowl. The city has become porous with armed robbers using tricycle to rob and shoot people.
“I was pursued by Cultists from my office and shot. I escaped by God’s grace. It’s now dangerous to walk between Stadium road and Garage with your phones.
“The boys will waylay you and collect everything on you. It was not so before. We’re very helpless now. Eyoh was the one backing the vigilance team
One Bright, a medical doctor with a private clinic at Emebire community in Warri, told Nigerian Tribune on Sunday afternoon that he’s now living in fear.
According to him, about five hoodlums invaded his clinic at 2:00 a.m on Sunday with a mini bus and started banging the hospital gate, saying they had an emergency.
“I called B Division, an officer told me he was the only person on duty, that there were no able-bodied policemen that could follow him to come to his rescue.
“I had to call Louis Eboh, chairman of the Vigilance group, who mobilized boys and began to rend the air with gunshots to repel the gunshots of the hoodlums who later fled,” he noted.
He added that at7:30 p.mm on Thursday, August 31, a lady whose relative was on admission in his clinic went to withdraw money to settle the medical when criminals swooped on her and robbed her of the money and mobile phone.
Bright said the sudden transfer of DPO Anietie, who’s has been going after the boys in their dens, was responsible for the current insecure state of Warri.
“We’re very scared. Now, the boys, who had fled the area before now, are returning on hearing the redeployment of Eyoh. And more is bound to happen.
“Eyoh should be returned to Warri. Even if he’ll be later transfered, they should allow him to train his successor and other officers of the modus operandi he uses to ward off the criminals.
“Eyoh should be allowed to handover properly. The new DPO does not understand the terrain and the criminals are capitalizing on this,” he pleaded.
Another resident, who pleaded anonymity for safety reasons, said “I can tell you most authoritatively that the faces we have started seeing in the area were not there before, the hoodlums have resurfaced.
“Warri as the name implies, needs a Warrior to tackle the crime rate here. Bring back Eyoh!
“Robbery and violence have resurfaced in Warri. A woman was robbed at gunpoint of her kids’ school fees yesterday (Friday)near Ecobank airport, road at 1:00p.m
“Another man was trailed from FirstBank to where he stopped to eat and robbed him of the huge cash he had in his car.
“Warri is an area that needs a radical crime prevention policing, chasing out the terrorists with everything it takes, not waiting for them to strike, but preventing them. Eyoh is the man for the job.”
Meanwhile, police public relations officer, Delta State Command, Mr Andrew Aniamaka, when contacted on the developmental said TribuneOnline should feed him with more of its finding through a text message which he was yet to respond to before filing the report.