President Muhammadu Buhari has called former president Goodluck Jonathan to sympathise with him following an attack by gunmen on his Otuoke residence in Bayelsa.
A statement by presidential aide, Malam Garba Shehu, said in the telephone conversation, Buhari expressed sadness over the “tragic and unfortunate attack,” during which a gallant soldier lost his life.
While commending the soldiers on guard for bravely repelling the attack, the president condoled with family members as well as officers and men of the Nigerian Army over the loss of one of the guards.
Buhari said the protection of the life of the former leader and all citizens of the country would continue to be the major preoccupation of his administration.
However, Jonathan has said there was no cause for alarm over the attack on his house by gunmen.
Jonathan in a press statement by his media adviser, Ikechukwu Eze also condoled with the family of the soldier who was killed.
According to him the gunmen were on a mission to steal a gunboat belonging to the military stationed about 100 metres from his house.
The statement read in part: “The gunmen who couldn’t stand the firepower of the military were forced to beat a retreat. One soldier, unfortunately, lost his life in the fight while another was injured. The injured soldier who is currently receiving treatment at a medical facility in Yenagoa is in a stable state.
Jonathan, who was not in Otuoke at the time of the attack, however, returned to his village early this morning to assess the situation. Dr. Jonathan promptly condemned the attack and reassured his people that there was no cause for alarm. The former President has also condoled with the family of the deceased soldier, the military and has urged the concerned security authorities to swing into action and bring the culprits to book.”
The gunmen according to investigation had thrown dynamite into the compound before they invaded it from the water side at about 2am shortly Jonathan left to sleep in his house in Yenagoa.
“The gunmen opened fire on the soldiers and the soldiers replied. It was a heavy shootout. The Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) positioned in front of the house, made a U-turn blaring siren to join his men behind the house. The soldiers while engaging the gunmen at the back of the house were not aware some gunmen were coming into the house on land. Those gunmen on foot shot dead a soldier and shot another in the leg. The gunmen, escaped after sighting the APC moving to reinforce the soldiers. The gunmen abandoned a boat filled with blood. The gunmen suffered heavy causalities because at the jetty blood was everywhere and some watching from inside the house saw the gunmen moving some bodies of their colleagues into another boat.”
Many residents of Otuoke who were thrown into panic commended the soldiers for their gallantry at repelling the attack from the gunmen.
The Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) Joint Task Force in a statement by its spokesman, Major Jonah Unuakhalu confirmed the incident and said investigation was ongoing to identify the group or persons behind the attack.
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