No fewer than seven persons, including a policeman, were yesterday killed by persons suspected to be herdsmen at Iware cattle market in Ardo Kola Local Government Area (LGA) of Taraba State.
The Zamfara State Police Command has also said it killed one gunman and foiled an attempt by bandits to attack Tangaram community in Anka Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
There was also panic at the headquarters of the Kaduna State Police Command yesterday when some riot policemen started shooting sporadically, killing a woman in a protest against the killing of their colleagues by bandits in an ambush.
The House of Representatives also yesterday passed a motion urging the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to beef up security in Mayo-Belwa Local Government Area (LGA) of Adamawa State to prevent reprisal attacks that had claimed several lives
Our correspondent gathered that the Taraba cattle market victims were said to have been trailed to the market which is 20 kilometres from Jalingo, the state capital, from Mayo Lope, where clashes between the Fulani and Yangdan ethnic groups had claimed 17 lives in the past one week.
The attack led to a serious pandemonium and forced closure of the market as traders ran helter shelter to avoid being caught in the attack.
Besides, no fewer than 15 people sustained varying degrees of injuries, most of whom are receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Jalingo where the corpses of the slain victims were also deposited.
Confirming the incident in a telephone interview, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP David Missal, said no policeman was killed in the attack.
But checks at the FMC revealed that the corpse of a policeman was among those deposited at the hospital’s mortuary.
Missal, however, stated that the victims were trailed to the market by the assailants on the grounds that the cows they brought to the market for sale were stolen.
According to him, “Information available to us indicates that the attackers killed the yet- to- be identified people because the cows they brought to the market were their cows, which were stolen during the crisis in Lau LGA of the state.
He, however, declined to confirm whether the victims were from Mayo Lope in Lau LGA, saying the command was still gathering intelligence.
“We are still gathering intelligence on the attack. We are trying to find out the perpetrators who took the law into their hands, instead of reporting to us; if really a case of cattle rustling was established,” he said.
Meanwhile, there was panic at the headquarters of the Kaduna State Police Command yesterday when some riot policemen started shooting sporadically, killing a woman in protest against the killing of their colleagues by bandits during an ambush.
The policemen deployed to the Birnin Gwari area for special operations against bandits terrorising the area, lost two of their colleagues to the attacks by the bandits.
A police officer who witnessed the Kaduna incident said, “the policemen brought the corpses of their colleagues and blocked the road leading to the command and started shooting sporadically in the air”.
According to him, a woman whose identity could not be immediately established was hit by the bullet and was rushed to the hospital where she died due to excessive bleeding.
Our correspondent gathered that the policemen were later disarmed and detained.
However reacting to the incident, spokesman of the command, Mukhtar Aliyu said in a statement that the policemen were mourning their dead colleagues when an accidental discharge occurred.
Aliyu said in a statement that the policemen who brought the corpses of their colleagues were in deep mourning mood.
According to the statement, “the police team engaged the attackers in a fierce gun battle and at the end, two of the unidentified gun men were killed and one AK 47 rifle was recovered.
“Unfortunately, two police officers lost their lives in the incident. However, the situation has been promptly brought under control. In their deep mourning mood, some police officers who conveyed the corpses of their late colleagues to Kaduna encountered an unfortunate incident where there was accidental discharge of gun-shot which hit a female member of the public. She was rushed to the hospital but sadly died from sustained wounds,” he said.
In a related development, the Zamfara State Police Command yesterday, said it foiled an attempt by bandits to attack Tangaram community in Anka LGA of the state.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Command, Muhammad Shehu, in Gusau, the state capital.
The statement said the command mobilised a team of policemen to the community and engaged the bandits in gun battle, after which one was shot dead while others escaped with various degrees of bullet wounds.
According to the statement, one of the suspects was killed by the police during the gun duel.
“One AK 47 rifle with 16 rounds of live ammunition was recovered while the policemen are already combing the surrounding forest to arrest the fleeing bandits,”the statement added.
It further said the command also arrested 72 suspected criminals and recovered 73 motor cycles from them.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday passed a motion urging Idris to beef up security Mayo-Belwa LGA of Adamawa State to prevent reprisal attacks that had claimed several lives
The House further urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Presidential Committee on North-east Initiatives to provide relief materials to designated camps to ameliorate their sufferings.
It further observed a minute silence for those who lost their lives in the attack.
The resolution followed a motion moved under matters of urgent public importance by Hon. Abdulrasaq Namdas (APC, Adamawa) on the matter.
He noted concern that 16 communities in southern zone of the state had been involved in reprisal attacks leading to loss of lives and properties worth millions of naira.
He said the residents of affected communities had been rendered homeless with over 200 houses had been razed down.
In another development, a member of the House of Representatives representing Shiroro/Rafi/Munya Federal Constituency of Niger State, Hon. Abubakar Chika Adamu yesterday protested alleged corruption in the execution of constituency projects in his zone by the Ministry of Power, Works and House in 2016 and 2017.
The lawmaker, who had last year indicated he would quit politics and won’t seek a re-election to parliament because of the general believe that politicians are corrupt, said there are no evidence that the ministry executed the zonal intervention projects in his communities.
He said though the sum of N30 million had been earmarked for each of the years, no project was carried out from the money, noting that the few interventions in the zone were those carried out by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He, therefore, sought answers on the whereabouts of the constituency allocations to his community.