Linus Oota, Lafia
Armed bandits now hold sway in major locations of Nasarawa State especially the expressway connecting Plateau, Kaduna, Benue states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, as there is a growing concern over the level of banditry and kidnapping.
On August 20, 2019, the Deputy Governor, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, was ambushed by suspected kidnappers on his way to Abuja to attend the inauguration of ministers. His convoy came under attack shortly after passing Nasarawa Eggon heading to Gado hill. Four police officers were killed in the attack.
How the attacked happened
When they got to Gado hill, they got information that there was robbery attack ahead. The escort commander stopped the convoy and took two other mobile police officers with him alongside a civilian driver to fend off the gunmen and open the road.
While the deputy governor was waiting in the car, the police officers went after the robbers blowing siren and shooting sporadically in the air. Unknown to them, the armed robbers who were about 50, repositioned themselves in the bush.
As they were approaching, the robbers who were on both sides of the road opened fire on them, got each of them on the head and killed them instantly; carting taken away their rifles. The deputy governor was not aware of the calamities that befell them.
After waiting for about an hour, the deputy governor put a call to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Commander in Lafia, requesting him to find out the problem with his security men at the scene. The commander sent his men to the scene only to discover that all the four police officers and their civilian driver were killed.
It would have been a different story if the whole convey including the deputy governor had forged ahead to dislodge the robbers. Furthermore, before the said attack on the deputy governor, the armed bandits had kidnapped about 15 persons on the express road that same day and spot. They were calling relations of their victims demanding ransom.
How 40 bandits attacked my deputy –Gov Sule
Governor Abdullahi Sule spoke on the attack on his deputy: “They were up to 40, they killed the policemen, three of them and one other person. But my deputy is okay, he came back safe and doing fine.”
We must fish out the bandits –CP
The state Commissioner of Police, Bola Longe, vowed that the elements that carried out the attack on the deputy governor would soon be fished out by the police:
“We want to emphasis that the elements that carried out that attack would be fished out. We have started already and we will get there. We would deal with them decisively so that they will know that Nasarawa State is not a place for them to operate.”
He explained that the command has mobilised its men to fish out the perpetrators and bring them to book. He urged members of the public to go about their lawful businesses: “The state government was disturbed by the incident and has mapped out strategic measures towards avoiding future occurrence and apprehending the culprits.”