Nasarawa State Commissioner for Information, Hamza Elayo has spoken out on the recent massacre of over 50 policemen and operatives of the State Security Service, SSS, by members of the Ombatse cult in Alakyio village saying the killing could not have been carried out using sticks and machetes as claimed by the Eggon people.
According to him, the assertion by the President-General of Eggon Cultural Development Association, Chris Mamman that members of Ombatse are peace loving and abhor violence is a lie as government had security information at its disposal which indicated that the group has attacked several communities.
He said, “From reports available to security agents, Ombatse group has attacked several communities. We have heard the voice-over of several members of Ombatse confessing to have killed these policemen. If these people have confessed, how can anyone absolve them of involvement in the incident?” he queried.
Mr. Elayo further defended government’s decision to send truck-loads of security personnel to go and arrest the leader of the Ombatse saying the activities of the group was a threat to peace in the state and required drastic action.
“Is he to tell the police how to go about their duty?” the commissioner said in response to a statement attributed to Mr. Mamman questioning the rationale behind sending armed security agents to go and arrest “a 76-year-old man that can hardly walk 200 metres” fuming, “Will he tell the police how many people they should use to arrest an armed robber? When America used more than 1,000 policemen to apprehend one Boston bomber, do you need to tell the police how many people they should use?” he asked again.
“The government of Nasarawa State received security reports about the activities of this criminal group, approached the security council and the security council recognised this danger and directed that drastic actions should be taken. The security agencies are expected to do their job in a professional manner; they are trained to do that.”
On claims that the security agents also killed 21 people in Alakyio village before the people fought back in defence, Elayo said, “Where are the graves of the people they killed? Where were they buried? Where did the villagers get the arms they used against the security men?
“Have you seen the bodies of the policemen? If you have seen them, you would have seen bullet holes in their bodies. They were killed by bullets, not sticks. Where did they get the bullets from? Where did they get the guns from? And he (Eggon leaders) is absolving them.”
Doubting the veracity of the claim, he continued, “A small village killed about 57 policemen and you are saying the villagers killed them with machetes. Can villagers do that in Nigeria? The more he speaks, the more complicit he is in that attack on policemen because he knows more than he is telling you. He is absolving people who have confessed to have killed policemen. Why is he absolving them? Is he their member?”