Gunmen kill police officer, seven civilians in Katsina, Plateau
• Troops neutralise two killer herders, recover arms at Benue/Nasarawa border
• Lalong plans more security outposts for Plateau
• ActionAid trains police officers on community policing
The agrarian community of Vatt in Barkin-Ladi Council of Plateau State was thrown into confusion yesterday as suspected herdsmen gunned down two farmers and wounded four others.
Also, in Danmusa Council of Katsina State, bandits shot dead a police officer and five civilians.
A reliable source in Vatt said the incident occurred about 10.30 a.m. when the victims were cultivating their farm. The gunmen had reportedly laid siege to the community earlier.
The source declared, “The (deceased) farmers identified as Pam Bulus (23) and Chum Toma (20) hailed from a neighbouring village to Vatt. Not less than eight men armed with sophisticated weapons opened fire on the local farmers. Many others working in the same farm fled into the nearby bush. If not, the casualty figure would have been higher.”
All efforts to speak with the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Ubah Ogaba, proved abortive, as several telephone calls put across to him were unanswered.
The Katsina incident, which occurred at about 2 a.m., also left several people with gunshot wounds.
A source in the area, Idris Kulere, lost three of his relations, while two of his wives were wounded in the attack.
Confirming the incident, the PPRO in the state, SP Gambo Isah, said six people were killed, including a police officer, while five others sustained injuries.
Meanwhile, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), yesterday, trailed a group of armed herdsmen to their camp close to Benue and Nasarawa border and killed two of them.
The troops also recovered two AK-47 rifles with 25 rounds of 7.62 special ammunition from the bandits.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Commander of OPWS, Maj-Gen. Adeyemi Yekini, were futile, as his phone could not get through.
IN another vein, Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong has announced plans to create more security outposts and surveillance centres in the 17 councils of the state.
Lalong, while commissioning the prototype of the outpost at Dutse Uku in Jos North Council, said the state’s security outfit, ‘Operation Rainbow’, would use the outposts.
ACTIONAID Nigeria has stressed the urgent need for explicit legal framework on community policing in the country, urging the National Assembly to amend Section 214 of the 1999 Constitution to accommodate the new structure.
This was contained in a communiqué signed by the Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi, and Executive Director, Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID), Halima Sadiq, at the end of a two-day training organised for select police divisions in Kogi State themed ‘Strengthening Community Policing/Police Community Relations Committee’.
The communiqué read in part: “There is need to urgently finalise the development and publicise clear terms of reference for the various community policing committees being inaugurated across states on the basis of directives of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) on implementation of the community policing strategic direction of the Nigeria police.”