19 dead in Kogi militiamen, bandits' war


File photo: Bandits

By Thompson Yamput

At least, 19 people have been reportedly killed while many others were injured in running battle between militia groups in parts of Benue and some bandits in Agojeju-Odo, Ajokpachi-Odo, Bagaji and environs in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State.

A community member said the incident happened on Thursday.

He said that the combants also destroyed farm produce in the communities.

“They destroyed farm produce with ease in an attempt to draw the communities into the conflict,’’ he said.

Retired Commodore Jerry Omodara, Special Adviser on Security to Gov. Usman Ododo confirmed the incident on Friday.

He said the governor had ordered a thorough investigation of the incident.

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“The killing of 19 innocent and armless residents of the community by alleged hired militiamen is very callous, unacceptable and condemnable.

“The area is now calm, however, following the deployment of security operatives, who are keeping vigil there,’’ he said.

Omodara said property; especially houses, vehicles, and crops were destroyed in the attack.

He called on people of Agojeju-Odo and neighbouring communities to remain calm as government and security agencies were on top of the situation.

Police spokesman in Kogi, SP Williams Ovye-Aya, also confirmed the attack and assured that security operatives were keeping vigil over the community to forestall further attacks.

“A tactical response team of the police, the military, and members of vigilance groups has been deployed in the area. Normalcy has since returned to the troubled community.

“Investigation into the incident has started to bring the perpetrators to book,’’ Ovye-Aya assured. (NAN)

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