A security analyst has confirmed that the violence that led to the death of tens in Nigeria’s yam capital, Zaki Biam, Benue State was more of a turf war among criminals.
Many thought the attack was by Fulani herdsmen who continue to ravage the State, but state officials quickly ruled this out.
The security expert spoke as police in Benue said they had made arrests.
Not willing to be named for safety reasons, the expert said that following the “disappearance” of a wanted “criminal”, Ghana, other groups wanted to prove their mettle.
“I suspect that they were after Ghana’s boys and followed them there. On sighting them, and being fearful themselves, opened fire shooting recklessly and causing so much collateral damage,” he said.
Worried by the killings of the innocent and destruction of property by the unknown gunmen by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, has deployed Police Special Tactical Force, comprising Police Mobile Force (PMF specially trained Anti Riot Policemen), Counter Terrorism Units, Conventional Policemen, Special Anti Robbery Squad, SIB, detachment of EOD, Police K9 (Sniffer Dogs Section), Police Air wing (Aerial Surveillance Helicopters) and other undercover operatives with their Headquarters in Zaki Biam, Ukum LGA, Benue State, according to a police statement.
The statement reads further: “The Police Special Tactical Force is led by the Commissioner of Police in charge of PMF, Force Headquarters, Abuja under the supervision of Deputy Inspector General of Police, Department of Operations.
“To achieve success of the operations, the Police Special Tactical Force will be proactive, work on actionable intelligence already at the disposal of the Nigeria Police Force, and carry out massive deployment, and twenty four (24) hours surveillance and patrol, continuous raids of identified and other suspected hideouts of the assailants, with a view to arrest promptly the attackers and their sponsors to prevent further loss of lives and nip in the bud the senseless killings and other criminalities in the general area.
“The deployment of the Police Special Tactical Force personnel will cover all the communities, towns, villages, vulnerable points, Government and private infrastructures and facilities in the area.
“Police helicopters will embark on guided missions and aerial surveillance of the entire area, most especially difficult terrains and will operate in synergy with other Police formations on the ground.
“The Joint Investigation Team attached to the Police Special Tactical Force is made up Personnel of Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, FSARS, SIP, Intelligence Response Team, Technical Intelligence Unit and Special Tactical Squad headed by an experienced Commissioner of Police under the supervision of Deputy Inspector General of Police (FCIID) are already in Zaki Biam and are making progress in the investigation into the killings of innocent people that occurred on Monday 20th March, 2017.
“The Inspector General of Police hereby urges traditional rulers, religious leaders, public office holders, politicians, opinion leaders, parents and guardians to prevail on their subjects and the youths to exercise restraint and support the personnel of the Police Special Tactical Force in the discharge of their responsibilities to bring the perpetrators of this gruesome killings to justice.
“The Nigeria Police Force is assuring the good people of Benue State of the renewed commitment of the Force to guarantee and sustain the protection of their lives and properties and hereby enjoin them to allow justice and peace to prevail and also cooperate with the personnel of the Police Special Tactical Force deployed in their localities.”