ACF Condemns Killing Of Security Agents

SLAIN-POLICEMEN

The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF has condemned the reported killing of security agents whose responsibility it was to secure the lives of other Nigerians across the country.

In a statement signed by National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Mr Anthony Sani the group said, “The reported ambush of police and DSS by the Ombatse worshippers in Lafia Local Government Area of Nasarawa State which resulted in the loss of 23 police officers and eight vehicles is revolting because, apart from the precious lives lost, those whose responsibility it is to secure the lives and property of Nigerians are becoming the targets of religious sects, however defined. This is unacceptable and so should be condemned by, not only all religions but also by all peace loving Nigerians.

“ACF, therefore, condemns the mindless attacks in totality. Yet we must not fail to point out the fact that criminals among us are shielding themselves with beliefs which they use to unleash crimes on fellow Nigerians.

“This country must regard and treat criminals for what they are, regardless of their faiths.

“It is very important that the governments and all leaders (be they political, religious or traditional) must come together and confront this evil menace by addressing the underlying causes. Our hearts go to those who lost lives of loved ones and property to the ambush. May God provide them with fortitude to endure what has happened. May their souls rest in peace.”

Earlier reports indicated that 23 of the officers were killed in an ambush by the Ombatse worshippers but the police confirmed, yesterday, that 30 corpses of the slain officers had been recovered. Governor Tanko Al Makura of Nassarawa State had said, Wednesday, that 20 policemen were killed during the incident by a militia group, known as “Ombatse” in the village located along the Akwanga-Lafia Road.

He said the policemen were murdered while on official duty to dislodge the militia group when they were ambushed and killed. The governor said that the group, which had besieged the state, was bent on destabilising the State Government.

The State Police Commissioner, Abayomi Akeremale, who commented on the incident confirmed that only 17 out of the 90 policemen excluding other DSS agents had so far returned with various injuries. The police spokesman in the state, DSP Michael Ada, later told Vanguard that 30 dead bodies of policemen had so far been recovered, adding that, “our rescue teams are still in the bush searching for other missing officers.” Altogether, it was said that 117 officers including policemen were involved.

Giving reasons for the ill-fated mission, Police Commissioner Akeremale said: “The militia group called Ombatse was going about in mosques and churches forcing all people of Eggon extraction in and out of Lafia to drink a particular concoction prepared from herbs and anyone who failed to comply was beaten up and harassed. It was agreed at the state security meeting that the Ombatse Shrine priest be arrested to stop such activities.”

It was learnt that out of the 11 police patrol vans used to convey the mobile policemen for the operation, eight were burnt beyond recognition by the militia group.

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