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Prime suspect in Rivers explosive detonation trapped 

Written by silvernewsng

By Ignatius Chukwu

The prime suspect in the failed detonation of alleged explosive device outside the perimeter fence of Hotel Presidential along Port Harcourt-Aba Expressway during a protest on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, has been nabbed, revived and is now receiving intensive care at the State University Teaching Hospital.

The suspect is alleged to be part of a group of protesters loyal to FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, and supporters of former elected local government chairmen, whose tenure elapsed at midnight on June 17, 2024, and have been agitating for tenure elongation, a demand alien to the Constitution.

Already, tight security has been mounted by officers and men of the Rivers State Police Command in and around the facility as part of police mandate to secure law-abiding citizens, and particularly patients and staff of the facility.

Addressing newsmen at the facility Tuesday night, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Adaeze Chidinma Oreh, said that on getting information of the incident, the State Government immediately alerted the Ministry of Health and all medical facilities in the State to be on the look out for patient(s) with suspected injuries arising from blasts.

Dr Oreh said that the severely injured patient was brought into the facility by some persons, who claimed that he was taken from a road traffic accident scene, adding that on close observation, it was discovered that the injuries were not related to any road traffic accident.  

She noted that the patient was immediately taken into custody, and revived while appropriate authorities were quickly informed of the development.

Dr Oreh added that although the patient was brought in a critical condition, all has been done to provide necessary medical attention, adding that he was receiving required treatment.

She said, “A call was put out by the State Government on Tuesday, 25th June, 2024, alerting all owners of the medical facilities, both public and private in the State, about a failed attempt to detonate an explosive at the axis of Hotel Presidential.

“The reason for that was for them to be vigilant, with heightened sense of alert, and high index of suspicion, should any individual present himself at any of the medical facilities with injury suggestive of a traumatic amputation of an upper limp.

“Following from that call, our medical facilities in the State were on a heightened sense of alert. 

“And so, when a young man was brought to the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) with alleged injury sustained during what was said to be a road accident, the medical personnel that were on hand to examine him and offer medical care were on alert, and immediately recognised that the injuries that were seen on the individual were not in tandem with a road traffic accident, and rather resembled injury that would have come from a blast.”

Dr Oreh said that the medical personnel are doing everything possible to ensure that the suspect is stable and respond rightly to medical care provided to him.

She explained that several individuals were seen, who assisted to bring in the suspect to the medical facility but have all left except for one person who had stayed back to watch over the suspect.

Dr. Oreh stated that the management of RSUTH and the State Government were working in collaboration with the Nigeria Police that has been duly notified and already playing its role in investigating the incident and the suspect.

She said: “The individual was taken to the theater for immediate resuscitation because as at the time he was brought in, he was semi-conscious but the medical personnel did the needful and immediately informed the Rivers State Government.

“Immediately too, they informed the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State and the Rivers State Ministry of Health about the presence of that individual in the facility even when providing emergency medical care to revive and resuscitate him.”

Dr Oreh emphasised: “He is currently stable. We are working in tandem with the Rivers State Police Command, and the hospital has been fully secured; fences and perimeters have been fully secured.

“The patient is undergoing current medical treatment. He is stable and the police is doing their own part by carrying out the necessary investigation,” she added.

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