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Death toll in bandits' attack on Kogi community rises to 25

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By Thompson Yamput

Death toll in Thursday’s attack by bandits on Agojeju-Odo community, Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State has risen to 25 with four children among those killed.

The leader of the community, Chief Elias Atabor, revealed this while speaking in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital on Friday.

Initial reports indicated that 19 people were killed and several others injured during the Thursday’s broad day light bandits attack on Agojeju-Odo and neighboring communities by the bandits.

But Atabor said on Friday in Lokoja that the number of those killed has risen from that initial figure.

“We are so worried that the death toll keeps rising by the hour,” Atabor said while pleading with the Federal Government to establish a military base in Omala Local Government Area to checkmate bandits’ incessant attacks on the people.

Atabor added that many people who were also injured are now hospitalised.

Atabor said: “We are pleading with the Federal Government to bring to our community a military base that will help us to checkmate the incessant attacks in our communities in Omala LGA.

“Thursday’s attack is the second in less than three months this year alone. The first was on Jan. 29 when four persons where killed by bandits

“We cannot continue dying like fowls in our own community. Agojeju-Odo is our ancestral home and we have no other place to go beside it

“Many of our people are still missing and we are still discovering more corpses. It’s painful and worrying.

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“Government should come to our aide and save us before those bandits, who are sophisticatedly armed to wipe us out from this Earth.”

The leader said that the communities, Agojeju-Odo, Ajokpachi-Odo and Bagaji had become ghost towns with no economic activity going on due to the attacks.

According to him, their children can not have the desired education because virtually all the schools in those communities are closed down.

He expressed gratitude to Gov Usman Ododo and the security operatives for their immediate response by deploying personnel to the troubled communities..

Also, a community stakeholder, Mr Ademu Ibrahim, urged President Bola Tinubu and Gov. Ododo to assist the communities’ members with some relief materials, having lost their farm produce to the bandits.

He described the attacks as “wicked and unacceptable”, considering the way and manners the bandits were killing the people.

Ibrahim said there had been a running battle between militia groups in parts of Benue and some bandits, which led to the onslaught on the quiet towns of Agojeju-Odo, Ajokpachi-Odo, Bagaji and environs.

According to him, the bandits have destroyed farm produce with ease in an attempt to draw the communities into the conflict.

But retired Commodore Jerry Omodara, Special Adviser on Security to Gov. Usman Ododo, said the death toll had risen to 21, with more being discovered by the hour.

(NAN)

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