Police yesterday confirmed the killing of three policemen attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) by herdsmen at Mararaba Udege in Nasarawa Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. The herdsmen believed to be of Fulani extraction ambushed and killed the policemen.
The herders also murdered eight farmers at Aguma community in Agatu chiefdom in the same Nasarawa Local Government Area. Hundreds of people were forced out of their homes as a result of the attacks. It was learnt that SARS officials said to be on their way to quell the crisis between the Agatu and Fulani herders in the area, were ambushed and killed.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Ismaila Usman, confirmed the incident yesterday in Lafia. He said: “There was conflict between the Agatu and Fulani herdsmen where the Agatu man shot a Fulani man on foot and went away with his Baja motorcycle.
“As the Fulani also went on reprisal, the attention of the police was drawn and the police quickly swung into action to ensure normalcy returned to the area. But unfortunately, they ambushed and killed three of our men.”
According to him, one inspector, sergeant and a corporal were victims of the attack. “No arrest was made to that effect,” he added. Usman said that normalcy has returned to the area. The PPRO added that a team of policemen headed by an Assistant Commissioner of police was deployed in the area to maintain law and order.
He, however, said the corps of the deceased officers were recovered and deposited at the morgue of an undisclosed hospital in the state. Meanwhile, in an interview with journalists, the paramount ruler of Agatu chiefdom, Alhaji Ahmed Kwanaki, revealed that about eight of his people were killed by the same Fulani herdsmen.
He gave the names of those killed as Sale Ozala, Oyigoso Sale, Danladi Joko, Abdulahi Musa, Adamu Haruna, Musa Adamu, Yakubu Sale, and Shehu Sabo aka Bassa man. The traditional ruler appealed to the state and Federal Government to as matter of urgency deploy military men in the area.
He disclosed that the security operatives earlier drafted to the area had been overpowered by the herders. Similarly, the state Chairman of Miyetty Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Hussain Mohammed, said that Agatu first killed some Fulani before the Fulani went on reprisal.
Mohammed condemned the killings of three police personnel in the area and promised to help in fetching out the perpetrators of the criminal act. He said: “If the perpetrators are Fulani, we will expose them and ensure they are made to face the law.
“Agatu should also expose criminals among them in order to help in ending the crisis.” Mohammed, therefore, appealed to the Nasarawa State government and the Federal Government to deploy military to flash points in the state.