Nigeria News

Nigeria: Cultists ambush, kill 20 policemen in Nasarawa

Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura, and his counterpart in Benue,  Gabriel Suswan, on Thursday  briefed the Presidency on the precarious security situation in their states.

While Al-Makura briefed Vice-President Namadi Sambo on the killing of over 20 policemen by members of a cult group in Alakyo Village, about 10 kilometres from Lafia, the state capital, on Wednesday, Suswan filed a report on the clashes between Fulani cattle rearers and farmers with a casualty figure which he described as “high and including women and children.”

President Goodluck Jonathan is currently in South Africa where he is participating in the World Economic Forum on Africa holding in Cape Town.

Shortly after a closed-door meeting with the Vice-President, Al-Makura told State House correspondents that his mission in Abuja was to report the activities of the Ombatse Militia to the Federal Government.

He said he had convened an emergency security meeting over the activities of the group where it was decided that security operatives should raid their shrine and arrest members but that the suspected cultists waited in ambush for policemen in the shrine on Wednesday and murdered 20 of them.

The governor said members of the group usually moved from one place to another, including mosques and churches, to attack helpless citizens.

He said because of the magnitude of the incident, he decided to come to Abuja to report it to the Federal Government and seek assistance.

The governor said, “I am here to meet with His Excellency, the Vice-President to brief him on the security situation in my state. Just yesterday (Wednesday), we had a very bitter security problem that has caused the death of some security officers in the state.

“Two weeks ago, we discovered a certain militia group holding arms and carrying out cult activities in the state. Since January, this thing has not abated and in the past two weeks, it took a total different dimension.

“They have been going from one place to another, including churches and taking people for that particular ethnic group to come and take portions that are meant to empower them to do what they want to do.

“This escalated and is causing serious concern for the state. We decided to hold a security meeting to find a way of solving the problem. The solution was to go to the shrine and pick on the cult leader so that the problem will be solved once and for all.

“As security operatives were approaching the shrine, unknown to them that ambush had been laid, these people attacked them, resulting in the death of more than 20 policemen.”

Al-Makura said the militia group had been proscribed by his administration since January because of its nefarious activities.

He said their modus operandi included going about with arms and attacking any area that has conflict with any of their members.

“Victims of the attacks, those who are security operatives and those who are not, we will see how we can assist their families,” he said.

Suswan on his part told reporters that the casualties in the clash in Agatu Local Government Area of his state included helpless women and children who were attacked while asleep.

The governor said, “I came to brief the Vice-President on the security situation in Benue. You must have heard that there are serious altercations between the Fulanis and the local farmers. This time it happened in Agatu Local Government which is one of the local governments that the Senate President represents, and they almost overran the local government and there was a lot of killings, a lot of property destroyed and I felt that I should come to brief the Vice-President, who is holding forth for the President; and I also discussed other sundry issues that relate to the general security situation in the country.

“I think that we should be very decisive, the security agencies must be decisive. Where people kill uniform people with impunity is totally unacceptable and when there is a situation like that and the security agencies react and people say they are excessive, it is not right.”

Suswan said he had been able to maintain peace and order in his state until the issue of the Fulani cattle rearers.

He said he and the Vice-President felt the issue had to be discussed at the level of the National Economic Council.

The governors’ rush to the Presidency came hours after members of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, on Tuesday attacked Bama in Borno State leading to the death of persons0, including 22 policemen, two soldiers and 14 prison officials.

The Bama attack was seen as the worst of the massacres the Boko Haram elements had unleashed on the country.

Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC and CEO of Portia Web Solutions. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
https://www.codewit.com

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