TERRORISM: Police chief and his officers die in active service

Gunmen on Saturday killed a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and four other officers in Niger State. The police personnel were killed while repelling an attack along the Kwakuti village on the Minna-Suleja highway.

MEZIESBLOG learnt that gunmen attempted to attack the market on Friday, but were repelled by joint security operatives.

A resident, who pleaded anonymity said the terrorists also invaded the Zazzaga another community in Munya Local Government area, the same local government area where the police personnel were killed, causing panic, especially in communities of Mutun Daya where there was a weekly market.

The resident said people have been fleeing the community in the last few weeks following incessant attacks by gunmen.

The police spokesperson in the state, Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed the attack in a statement on Sunday. He said the DPO, Mukhtar Sabiu, was in charge of the police divisional command Paikoro Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

“Combined teams of police from Gawu-Babangida Division and Paiko Division, military and vigilante members were drafted to the scene and the hoodlums were engaged in a gun duel and repelled with scores of them being neutralised, while others escaped with bullet injuries.

“The Commissioner of Police, Niger State Command, Ogundele Ayodeji, who led a reinforcement team to the scene and recovered the bodies of the deceased personnel, condoled with the families of the affected personnel.

“The Commissioner of Police, however, reassured members of the public that the command will not relent in the fight against banditry and other criminality in the State, the police spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, a commercial driver who plies the Minna-Suleja highway, Adamu Usman said that some gunmen blocked the highway around 10: a.m. Saturday for several hours, forcing many travellers to make a U-turn in fear of being kidnapped.

“Yesterday in our parks in Minna and Jabi, Abuja, passengers were scarce because when people heard what happened, many people went back home. Before I could get passengers from Minna to Abuja yesterday, it was around 1 p.m.

“Our colleagues who were caught on the road said bandits were in large numbers somewhere around Kwakuti with hundreds of cattle. So, they had to return to Minna and from there, many passengers postponed their journeys.

“I did not leave until I heard that they had crossed to the other side. If you had gone to Jabi park yesterday, you wouldn’t have seen many passengers going to Minna,” the driver said.