Six days after three policemen and five members of the Kogi State Vigilanté Service were ambushed and killed by suspected bandits in Jidda Bassa community in Ajaokuta Local Government Area, two police Inspectors have again been felled by bullets of unknown gun men within the same area.
Two expatriates of Asian origin and two drivers of a ceramic company in Ajaokuta were also gunned down by the fleeing killers the Police say they are chasing. Ajaokuta is home to Nigeria’s tottering, but largest steel firm, with its own large steel city.
Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, had suspended the paramount traditional ruler of Ajaokuta over last week’s killing, while the Local Government chairman was queried.
Details of the latest tragedy were contained in a statement released by Kogi State Police Command spokesman, William Ovye Aya.
It reads: “Consequent upon the attacks on expatriates of West Africa Ceramics Company Ajaokuta and Police escort at about 2000hrs (8.00 p.m.) of Friday 5th of August,2022, the Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Police Command, CP Edward Egbuka… has visited the scene for on-the-spot assessment and has equally ordered the deployment of additional operational assets consisting of operatives of the Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit, Quick Response Unit, State Intelligence Bureau in synergy with other security agencies to restore normalcy in the area.
“Meanwhile, two expatriates, two Company drivers and two Police Inspectors died in the exchange of fire with the hoodlums, before the Area Commander and a detachment of Military in the area reinforced to the scene of incident, and the attackers fled.
“The CP assures that the Command is committed to working in synergy with other security agencies as well as patriotic stakeholders to make the State a safe and secure place for all and sundry. He has further tasked the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) to commence investigations into the unfortunate incident so as to unravel the remote and immediate cause of the attack with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book.”
Recall that Navy Commander Jerry Omodara (Retd), the Special Adviser to the State Governor on Security told journalists last week that three policemen and five members of the Kogi Vigilanté group were killed last Saturday while they were on their way to attend to distress calls by residents.
According to him, residents had noticed some strange movements in the community and they promptly reported to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), who dispatched the security personnel to the area.
Omodara added that the bandits were aware of the security men movement, laid ambush and killed eight of them.
He said the corpses of the security personel had been deposited at the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja.
The former air force general vowed that the state government will do all within its power to get the gunmen arrested and make them to face justice.
According to him, government would take proactive steps to immediately bring the security situation in Jidda Bassa under control.
He explained that the state government was doing its best to curb criminal activities in all parts of the state.
He warned that any attempt by hoodlums to make the state unsafe would be summarily dealt with .
The Special Adviser expressed sympathy with the families, relations and friends of the deceased security personnel and urged the people of the community to remain calm but be extra vigilant.