Police Confirm Killing of Officers in Benue

  • Mark condemns insecurity in state

George Okoh in Makurdi

The police in Benue State have confirmed an attack by unknown armed men in the early hours of Sunday on Igumale Police Station in Ado Local Government Area where two officers on duty were killed while another sustained bullet wounds and in critical condition.
The men also succeeded in breaking into the armoury of the station and carted away all available arms in the vault.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Moses Yamu, said the force is investigating the crime as the state Commissioner of Police, Makama, had given a marching orders for the arrest of those behind the heinous crime.

The attack came a few days after some herdsmen killed one Ejimbi Amali in Ola’olaje Ogege in Okpokwu Local Government Area of the state.

According to a senior Ado local government staff who spoke on condition of anonymity, the armed men stormed the police station which was the only one in the area on Sunday at about 12:35a.m.
He said: “I personally got a call from one of the elders in Ogbe village which is just a stone throw from the station, at about 12:35a.m, that there was heavy bombardment of the village as if a war had broken out.

“After receiving that call the gunshots continued for about 10 minutes and nobody was courageous enough to come out of his home because everyone had already gone to bed.
“At that point we all started calling security agencies in the area including the Divisional Police Officer to find out what the problem was because it was as if the entire Igumale was under siege.

“It was 15 minutes after that the sporadic shooting stopped that most persons had the courage to come out, only for us to discover that the Igumale Police Station had been attacked and there was blood everywhere, one of the Police men on duty was shot dead and three others badly wounded and in critical condition.

“According to the account of those who lived near the station, they said they heard the sound of two motorbikes conveying some persons to the station and suddenly there was sustained heavy bombardment of the station after which the men mounted their bikes and zoomed off through Adiga village heading towards Okpoga.

“On discovering the gory sight, we immediately called in the local government ambulance and conveyed them to Saint Daniel Hospital, Otukpo, unfortunately before getting to the hospital, one of the officers died on the way.

“We gathered that the other remaining two who were also in critical condition because their bodies were riddled with bullets were moved from Otukpo to the Federal Medical Centre in Makurdi by the police authorities for proper attention but one of them also died before noon.
“As I speak with you our people are in shock and in fear.

Meanwhile, the immediate past Senate President, Senator David Mark, has condemned in strong terms the menace just as he tasked security operatives to rise up to the challenge.

Angered by the development, Mark urged the citizens to cooperate with the security operatives “to fish out the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.”

He lamented that insecurity was taking a toll on the concerted efforts to attract development, saying that all hands must be on deck to end the menace.

Mark therefore cautioned youths in the state to refrain from any act of criminality or violence because “you will be putting your lives and future in jeopardy. As future leaders, our youths should engage in something productive and meaningful. You cannot position yourselves as future leaders and deliberately destroying the proposed future. Enough is enough. A word is enough for the wise.”