Army, police continues meeting to avert crisis over killing of soldier in PH


By Codratus Godson

Leaders of both the army and the police are said to be locked in meetings in Port Harcourt to find solution to the fracas errupting following the killing of a senior soldier in the Garden City by policemen driving along Ada george. authorities in Rivers State are striving to avert a full blown violent crisis following the shooting to death of a soldier on Ada George area of Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers State, Thursday morning. Soldiers reacted by storming a police station, causing havoc.

By late afternoon, the army and the police commanders were still said to be in a prolonged meeting. A joint statement was expected at the end of the meeting to create a path to peace in the fracas.

Conflicting accounts have so far dogged the cause of the killing. The military sources told radio stations in the Garden City that an army officer was coming out early in the morning from a hotel where he and his two other colleagues lodged only for a patrol van with armed police operatives to shoot the officer to instant death and zoomed on.

The soldiers contacted base (probably the Army Division in Bori Camp, former 72 Brigade, and soon , a truckload of soldiers stormed the area. It was gathered that the soldiers took over the Kala police Station and beat up any policeman on sight.

Soldiers also allegedly broke open the cells and detainees fled while the soldiers allegedly held the divisional police officer (DPO) and demanded he produced the policeman that shot their officer. Soldiers allegedly arrested any policeman seen in the vicinity, sending tension round the city.

Persons were calling their relations to keep away from Ada George area.

A police officer who chose to speak on condition of anonymity said the police squad was rather on an emergency response to a call from the area. He said they ran into the armed persons who turned out to be soldiers in mufti.

The policeman claimed that the man in mufti lifted his gun to shoot at the police but that the police drew faster and killed him, first.

The joint statement to be issued by the authorities after the prolonged meeting is expected to throw some light into what happened and which account is plausible. It would also show if any headway is being made out of the ugly situation.