Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
The Delta State Police Command said it lost an inspector of police to suspected cattle nomads who allegedly ambushed some policemen on routine patrol in the university town of Abraka in Ehiope East local Government Area of the state.
The command said three other policemen also sustained various degrees of injury during the surprise attack on the patrol team late Tuesday.
According to the police command spokesman, Mr Andrew Aniamaka, members of the patrol team were from Abraka Police Division and the incident occurred along the dormant Railway Line in Abraka.
According to the report, the patrol van used on routine surveillance of the area on Tuesday evening was suddenly attacked by suspected Fulani herdsmen, catching the policemen unawares with a hail of bullets, leasing to the death of the inspector.
The policemen were said to have panicked at the sudden attack, leaving them practically helpless and unable to give the suspected herdsmen a fight or respond with any firepower of their own.
One of the police officers who was fatally wounded died on the spot with no one to rescue him as others reportedly abandoned the ill-fated patrol van and scampered to safety but not without bullet wounds.
However, the injured are currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital in the area.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Aniamaka, who confirmed the report yesterday, described the incident as unfortunate.
According to the police spokesman, â€œOur men were ambushed around the Railway Line in Abraka and they opened fire on them, and it was so spontaneous that our men did not have the time to ward off the attack.
â€œWe lost an inspector of police and some others were injured and are currently receiving treatment in the hospital. That is the situation of things; we are still on the trail of those who committed the dastardly act.â€
There had been recent outrage over the criminal activities of nomadic cattle referees in different parts of Delta State with the state government and even the state council of traditional rulers recently calling on the federal government to adopt more drastic measures to curtail excesses of the cattle herders across the state and in the country.