No fewer than three operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Nasarawa State Police Command have been killed in an ambush in Mararaba Udege community by suspected Fulani herders Punch reports.
Eight farmers were also reportedly killed and scores of houses razed in Aisa and Aguma communities on Sunday in the Nasarawa Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
Investigation by Northern City News revealed that the security operatives were on their way to quell the lingering clashes between the Agatu and Fulani herders in the area when they were ambushed by the herders and killed.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP Ismaila Usman, confirmed the incident in Lafia on Tuesday.
He said, “There was a conflict between the Agatus and Fulani herdsmen when an Agatu man shot a Fulani man on the foot and went away with his Bajaj motorcycle.
“As the Fulani went on a reprisal, the attention of the police was drawn and we quickly swung into action to ensure that normalcy returned to the area, but unfortunately, our operatives were ambushed and three of them were killed.”
Usman said one inspector, a sergeant and a corporal were killed during the attack and no arrest had been made.
He said that normalcy had been restored to the area, noting that a police team led by an assistant commissioner of police had been deployed in the area to maintain law and order.
He, however, added that the corpses of the deceased officers had been recovered and deposited in an undisclosed hospital in the state.
The paramount ruler of Agatu chiefdom, Alhaji Ahmed Kwanaki, revealed that about eight of his people were killed by the rampaging 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 (Bassa man).
The traditional chief, who was visibly angry over the killings in his chiefdom, appealed to the state and federal governments to, as a matter of urgency deploy troops in the area.
He stated that the security operatives earlier drafted to the trouble area have been over-powered by the Fulani herders “as they could not move to the interior where they are operating.”
But the state Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Hussain Mohammed, alleged that the Agatu attacked the Fulani before they (herdsmen) carried out a retaliatory attack.
He, however, condemned the killing of the police personnel and promised to help in apprehending the perpetrators of the criminal act.
“If the perpetrators are Fulani people, we will expose them and ensure they are made to face the law. Agatu people should also expose criminals among them in order to help in ending the crisis,” Mohammed stated.