Cultists operating in Ahoada area of Rivers State have killed and beheaded a Divisional Police Officer, DPO, SP Bako Angbashim.
Bako, a respected police personnel is notable for his efforts in the fight against cultism, kidnapping and killing in the state.
The police DPO, who had served at Bori Police Divisional Headquarters in Khana LGA, and restored sanity in the area, was this year deployed to Ahoada communities being terrorized by devil-minded cultists in the move to exterminate the cultists in the area.
Ahoada communities including Odumude, Odumereni, Odemusoma and Ihugbogo, Odieke and others have been at the mercy of cultists, spurring the police to take one of its best, Bako, to the area.
A source in Odumude, where Bako was killed, had on condition of anonymity, revealed that the cultists operating in the area had warned residents not to report any criminal incident in the area to security agencies or the DPO.
It was learned that Bako upon resumption of duty as DPO had mounted pressure on the cultists, sacking them from their camps, while some of the cult leaders out of pressure willfully surrendered their arms.
But, on Friday, the cultists in the area re-mobilised back to the forest with the aid of a spiritualist and killed the leader of the special team, Bako.
The Rivers State Police Command has described the development as unfortunate, adding that the culprits must be brought to book.
The spokesperson of the command, Grace Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police, in a statement narrated that Bako was killed in the forest in an ambush during an onslaught against cultists in Ahoada.
Iringe-Koko said: “In an unfortunate incident on 8th of September,2023, the DPO of Ahoada Division, SP Bako Angbashim, displayed exemplary courage during a mission to combat criminal activities in the Odumude Area of Ahoada East Local Government Area in Rivers State.
“SP Bako Angbashim, alongside his dedicated team, embarked on a raid of known criminal blackspots in the region. The operation led to a pursuit of criminals from their concealed hideouts. Tragically, as they were returning from this operation, they were ambushed by a significant number of criminals who opened fire on the brave officers.
“In the face of this adversity, SP Bako Angbashim, valiantly held his ground, while his men, depleted of ammunition, made a tactical retreat. Regrettably, during this engagement, SP Bako Angbashim sustained fatal injuries, and one of his informants was also injured, currently receiving medical care for a gunshot wound.
“The criminals seized the body of SP Bako Angbashim, forcing the remaining officers to return to their base for reinforcement. Efforts were made to rescue and recover the DPO’s body, with assistance sought from the Army teams stationed at FOB Base Etraco. However, the operation proved challenging due to the extremely dark conditions within the dense bush.
She condoled with the family of Bako and the police force on the loss, stating that all efforts are on to track down the cultists involved in the killing of the DPO.
“The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, CP Nwonyi Polycarp Emeka, PhD, has expressed deep determination to bring the perpetrators of this heinous act to justice. An extensive investigation is currently underway to uncover the circumstances surrounding this tragic event.
“Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family of SP Bako Angbashim and all those affected by this distressing incident,” the PPRO added.