Three victims including a member of the Edo State Security Network (ESSN), have been shot dead by gunmen in Ekiadolor Community in the Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo State.
The incident which occurred around the market square between 6:am and 7:45 a.m. on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, prompted protests from mini-bus drivers who appealed to security agencies to enhance security in the area.
Reliable sources informed the Nigerian Tribune that the sole survivor of the attack, identified as Bright Oviawe, a driver, has been hospitalised after sustaining two gunshot wounds.
It was gathered that the deceased vigilante member identified as Jude Aikhionbare, 43, was returning from his night duty when his assailants opened fire on him around the market square.
The other two victims were identified as Felix Ighodaro and Aza Mani, mini-bus drivers in the locality.
The younger brother of the sole survivor, Mr. Uhunoma Oviawe, stated that the attackers operated in a blue Toyota Camry.
“My brother told me that the former CDA chairman of Ekowe Community, Endurance Edohen, called my brother Bright to come and settle the issue of the land he sold to him at Ekowe Community. I went with my brother this morning,” he explained.
“As we were waiting, I left my brother to eat in a nearby restaurant when suddenly a Toyota Camry arrived. Endurance came out of the car and shot my brother in the hand and leg,” Uhonoma Oviawe said.
He further identified the victims of the attack as indigenous residents of the Ekiadolor Community.
The attack occurred barely one month after unidentified gunmen invaded and killed six individuals, including three vigilante members, in Okhunmwun Community on October 21.
Both communities are located less than 25 kilometres apart on the Benin-Lagos Motorway in the same local government area.
Spokesperson of the Edo State Police Command, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, who confirmed the incident reported that around 7:00 a.m., the Divisional Police Officer of the Ekiadolor Police Division received a distress call about gunmen operating in a Toyota Camry invading the community.
He said that the DPO quickly mobilized his men to the area, and the body of one Jude Aikhionbare, killed by the rampaging gunmen, was discovered and evacuated to the mortuary.
The link between the killings in the two communities has not been established conclusively.