Nassarawa gov confirms death of 20 policemen, solicits FG assistance to contain militia group
Abuja (WorldStage Newsonline)-- Governor Ibrahim Tanko al-Makura of Nassarawa State Wednesday approached the Federal Government for assistance in the efforts to contain the suspected killer cultists group, the Ombatse militia group.
Ombate, in Eggon language means ‘time has come’, leading to them being accused of causing the commotion and insecurity in order to upstage the government.
The group was fingered in the recent mayhem in Alakio village, about 10 km from Lafia, the state capital where 20 policemen were reported to have been killed.
Al-Makura who was at the State House to brief the vice president, Namadi Sambo on the incident told newsmen that the situation was grave as the militia members carry arms and attack any area at will.
He said the government can no longer fold its arm and watch such a callous act being perpetrated.
He said, "I am here to meet with His Excellency, the Vice President to brief him about the security situation in my state. Just yesterday, we have a very bitter security problem that has caused the death of some security officers in the state.
"Two weeks ago, we discovered a certain militia group holding arms and carrying out cultist activities in the state. Since January, this thing has not abated and in the past two weeks, it took a total different dimension.
"They have been going for one place to another including churches and taking people for that particular ethnic group to come and take portions that are meant to empower them to do what they want to do.
"This escalated and is causing serious concern for the state. We decided to hold security meeting to find a way of solving the problem. The solution was to go to the shrine and pick on the cult leader so that the problem will be solved once and for all.
"As security operatives were approaching the shrine, unknown to them that ambush has been laid for them, these people attacked them and resulted in the death of more than 20 policemen.
"This is a situation that is so grave and I feel it is very important that I come to brief the Vice President about the security situation and to seek assistance so that we can handle the matter once and for all.
"Already, the group that is from Eggon extraction and called Ombatse has been proscribed since the beginning of this year because of the activities of the members. They go from one place to another, harbouring arms, attacking any area that has any conflict with any of their members. The group is banned and its members are those causing this problem in the state and we feel it is necessary to bring this to the notice of the Federal Government.
"Before now, there were one or two arrests. But as a result of yesterday's event, I am yet to be briefed on the number of arrests that have been made. Already, I learnt that security operatives are making arrangements to see how they can contain the situation. It is on that point that I will know how many arrests have been made.
"The incident happened in a village called Alakyo about 10km from Lafia, the state capital.
"The position of this militia is unacceptable to the government, already we are taking appropriate steps to see that the perpetrators of this act are brought to book.
"That is why I have given the necessary informational the federal level so that by the time we begin to take on these perpetrators, nobody should cast aspersions on the justification.
"Victims of the attacks, those who are security operatives and those who are not, we will see how we can assist their families."