About 90 people were feared killed Wednesday in a gun duel involving security operatives and members of the Eggon militia group, Ombatse, in Alakyo village of Lafia East development area of Nasarawa State. The operatives were drafted on a mission to arrest the leader of the group, Baba Alakyo, and recover arms said to be in his possession.
Report say of the 11 trucks of security men deployed to the area, only two returned safely to Lafia with only 20 policemen, nine of whom received different degrees of gunshot wounds. An assistant commissioner of police, Momoh, who led the team was also killed in the attack as well as officers of the State Security Service (SSS) and Civil Defense Corps.
This onslaught came just as Governor Tanko Al-Makura told Vice President Namadi Sambo that over 20 policemen were killed during the attack by the militia.
Al-Makura, a Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) governor, who said he was at the villa to seek federal government’s assistance, noted angrily that his government was now set to put an end to the activities of the cult group which he noted had a year ago been dislodged by security forces, only to spring back on Tuesday with more fierce attack on innocent citizens.
The governor had earlier proscribed the ethnic militia for visiting untold horror on different other ethnic groups in various parts of the state but the militiamen have continued to carry out their activities with brazen impunity.
Findings revealed that the militiamen, who got wind of the impending arrest of their leader, Alakyo, by mobile police officers, ambushed the officers by dusk, forcing them to run away.
Addressing newsmen on the incident in his office, the state commissioner of police, MrAbayomiAkeremale, said sending his men for the arrest was to be carried out to avert a religious crisis which could be sparked off by Alakyo forcefully administering traditional concoction on adherents of other religions at variance with the Ombatse spiritual beliefs and practices.
Governor Al-Makura while commenting on the incident said that “the position of this militia is unacceptable to the government and already, we are taking appropriate steps to see that the perpetrators of this act are brought to book”.
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