Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has expressed his condolences to the Nigerian Police Force and members of the Vigilante Corps over the loss of their personnel in a gun battle with terrorists in Nasko, Magama Local Government Area of the State.
The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), CSP Umar Mohammed Digari, was among those killed by the terrorists.
Everyday.ng learnt that the late DPO had recently led an operation in which many terrorists, who rustled cows from a prominent retired army general’s farm in Nasko, were neutralised and nearly 900 cows were recovered.
It was learnt that the terrorists had, days ago, stormed the huge farm, rustled hundreds of cows, but had been trapped on their way out by a joint security team that was scrambled to the scene. In the ensuing gun battle, the terrorist were given a bloody nose, losing a lot of their members and their loot.
A source suggested that the anger of their loss may have triggered the operation that claimed the lives of Digari and others.
Efforts to get the name of the retired army general was not successful, though the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, General Gado Nasko, is known to have a big farm there.
Meanwhile, the Governor in a statement, by his spokeswoman, Mary Noel-Berje, described as painful and unfortunate the loss of such personnel in action all in a bid to ensure safety of lives and property.
He said while some level of success was recorded recently following the onslaught by the joint security operatives, which led to the killing of so many terrorists, the unrepentant criminals are bent on making some parts of the state unsafe to the residents.
Governor Sani Bello also commiserated with the people of Munya local government area over the killing, kidnapping and injury of many people in Chibani, Fuka, Dandaudu and other adjoining communities, saying the situation is quite disturbing.
While encouraging the Police, Vigilante Corps and residents of the affected communities not to lose faith in God no matter the situation as their would be light at the end of the tunnel, the Governor assured them of government’s continous support in ensuring insecurity is curtailed in the state.
He prayed for the repose of the souls of victims of attacks in Nasko in Magama Local Government Area and the communities recently invaded in Munya local government area, as well as comfort for their loved ones.
The Governor also prayed God to grant those injured quick recovery and safe return to those kidnapped.
Recall that terrorists were said to have surrounded a Divisional Police Station in Nasko on Tuesday, in what looked like a reprisal attack for the joint security operatives onslaught that killed so many terrorists and recovered hundreds of cattle.
It was reported that while the Divisional Police Officer DPO was meeting with the joint security operatives for another operation, the terrorists suddenly surrounded the station and a fierce gun battle ensued, leading to the killing of the DPO, and six others including Police officers as well as Vigilante Corps personnel.
The terrorists were said to have recorded some casualties too as many were killed while some others escaped with gunshot injuries.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Bala Kuryas, said in Minna, that the gunmen attacked the police station, killing two other police officers, apart from the divisional police officer.
He said further that the gunmen later went to Nasko, the headquarters of the local government on motorcycles, killing three other police officers and four vigilantes.
He disclosed further that a detachment of police tactical squad and the military personnel had been deployed to the area to track the criminals.
“We appeal to residents in the state to assist the security personnel deployed to the area with reliable information that could help in apprehending the criminals.
“We are all out to deal with any person or group of people undermining the peaceful atmosphere of our state,” he warned.