Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has assured that the state government will offset the medical bills of victims of the foiled bank customer robbery attack along Factory Road, Umuahia on Thursday.
Governor Ikpeazu gave the assurance, at the Federal Medical Center, FMC Umuahia, through the Secretary to the State Government, Barr Chris Ezem when he visited one of the victims, Miss Chimuanya Joy Nwokocha who sustained bullet wounds during the robbery attack.
Ikpeazu expressed his happiness that no life was lost during the ugly incident but noted that Miss Nwokocha is responding to treatment having undergone a major surgery while another victim, a student nurse who sustained a bullet injury has been discharged.
The governor noted: “The essence of the visit to the hospital was because of a sad incident that is in the public domain which took place on Thursday along bank road where our security men were in hot pursuit of a criminal gang who has constantly robbed citizens of Abia who have gone to do their lawful businesses in banks.
“Our security agents were after these gangs, unfortunately during the hot pursuit, the criminals abandoned their vehicle close to the UBA junction after an exchange of fire and in the process, stray bullets hit one or two citizens carrying out their business along the area.
“We recovered some riffles, and we are still in pursuit of them because some of the gang members escaped with bad injuries.
“That incident left some people carrying out their business around that area wounded, and as a responsible government, we can’t fold our hands and say we didn’t know that some people sustained injury.
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“We have come to this hospital, FMC on the instruction of the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu to see the state of recovery of the people that sustained injury and from our observation, one of them has been discharged fully on her feet.
“The other one has gone through some surgery and is responding to treatment and we’ve come to convey the sympathy of the state government to her and her family.
“Government will equally take steps to support whatever bills she incurs here. We are happy to see that she is responding to treatment and there’s no fatality in what happened yesterday.”
He assured Abians that his administration will not relent in safeguarding the lives and property of citizens and those residing in the state, adding that security agents have been placed on red alert to nab criminal elements.
“We will continue to be on our feet, we won’t rest. All security agents have been asked to ensure that Abians can go to bed and sleep with their eyes closed,” Ikpeazu said.