Gunmen on Tuesday invaded the Atlantic Television Network and Wish FM 99.5, threw explosive devices suspected to be dynamite and bombed a generating set, a 500KVA transformer and a transformer feeder panel on the premises of the two media outfits in Ozuoba, in the Obio Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The Rivers State Police Command, however, said it had launched a full-scale investigation to track down the suspects behind the explosion that rocked the radio and television stations around 8.45pm and destroyed its appliances.
PUNCH Metro gathered that during the attack on Tuesday, the gunmen, after invading the media outfits, shot sporadically and threw the explosive device into the building.
Contacted, the Chairman of the media outfits, who is a member of the House of Representatives, Dr Chinyere Igwe, confirmed the incident to our correspondent and called for a thorough investigation into the attack.
Igwe said, “Well, what I am happy about is that no life was lost. We reported to the police and some personnel of the police came. I was called this morning (Wednesday) that a detachment of bomb experts was coming for further investigation and that we should not clear the debris.”
Meanwhile, a similar attack was launched at the residence of the Social Democratic Party’s House of Representatives candidate for Obio/Alpor Federal Constituency, Tony Gboms, in Agip, in the Port Harcourt area of the state.
Speaking to journalists on the attack that happened around 10pm on Tuesday, Bombs said he was in a meeting with some friends when they suddenly heard the blast.
“When we tried to peep to see what was going on, hoodlums in a vehicle near my house were shooting and we had to take cover. They threw dynamite into my house. You can see the destruction.
“At the same time, they shot somebody in the chest at the junction. I heard he is at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital. Whoever they (assailants) are, they should know that we are humans and Nigerians. Whether they like it or not, this election will be contested and won.”
“The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, the Bomb unit and the Divisional Police Officer of Sanni Abacha were all here. Even this morning they were here. But they should sit up and provide security for every citizen of Rivers State and Nigeria. The gunshots lasted for about 15 to 20 minutes,” Bombs said.
Reacting, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Grace Iringe-Koko, in a statement, said an investigation had been launched into the incident.
The statement read, “Operatives of the Explosive Ordinance Department have been deployed to the scene for swift and detailed investigation with a view to ascertaining the veracity of the information and to unravel what exactly caused the explosion.
“The command assures that if the incident was indeed orchestrated by anyone or group, the culprits will be hunted down and made to face the full wrath of the law.”