ATABOR JULIUS LOKOJA
It was a tale of horror and anguish in Bagana in Omala Local Government Area of kogi state as a court staff was beheaded on his farm in the early hours of Monday , November 30, 2020.
It was gathered that, the deceased, Suleiman Abdulkareem who is a security guard with Upper Area Court in the town met his Waterloo when he went to his farm just like any other day when some unknown gunmen attacked and hacked him to death and cut off his head and bolted away.
The locals said the deceased was an easy going man who maintained good neifhbourliness , went to the farm on the fateful day without premonition of the dangers lurking around to harvest some farm produce when he was killed by an unknown gunmen.
The locals added that when the news of his gruesome murder frittered to town, the vigilante and hunters mobilised themselves to the scene , but the assailants had left before they could get to the scene.
They locals who lamented at the dastard murder of the deceased told our Correspondent that his murder was one too many as many persons have felled to the guns and matchets of the bandits who often waylaid their victims who were either returning from the markets and from farms.
Bagana, a village of over 20,000 inhabitants, situated on the bank of river Benue and about fifteen kilometres away from Abejukolo, headquarters of Omala Local Government Area of Kogi state has been severally attacked by bandits and Fulani herdsmen with over 300 deaths and wanton destruction to properties.
According to the locals, this latest murder of a hapless civil servant who was posted to the town to perform his legitimate duty has brought to the fore the lack of security agencies in the town.
They disclosed that about two months ago, a traditional ruler in the village was Abducted and killed by yet to be arrested bandits and his lifeless body dumped in his farm.
According to the locals, ” We have been under attack since 2013. The marauders would come to the town , attacked us , killing our able body men and burnt down the village.
This happened in 2015 and 2019 . We have lost above 300 persons and almost half of the village has been burnt down.
“As we speak to you , most of our people have relocated to neighbouring states of Nassarawa , Benue and other villages within kogi state. Some of us that remains, we are sleeping with our eyes opened, with fears of unexpected attacks from the bandits, fulani hermen and some ethnic militias.
” At the wake of the senseless killings in the town, the government deployed soldiers and mobile policemen to the town but, even at their presence, the attacks continued unabated. The 2019 attack on the town, left no fewer than three Mobile policemen and two soldiers and scores of the villagers dead and houses worth millions of naira burnt down.
” As we talk to you no single policeman is in the town. After the killing of the Mobile policemen and soldiers, the government withdrew the remaining security men , leaving us to our fate . We are calling on the relevant authorities to return the security personnel to the town to at least give us sense of protection” They lamented.
In a similar circumstance, a man at Abejukolo had his limb shopped off on his farm by a suspected Fulani herder for daring to challenge him for destroying his farm.
The victim who is currently on the trauma bed at the general Hospital Abejukolo , where medical personnel are battling to save his life.
Speaking to our Correspondent on phone, the Divisional Police officer DPO of the local Government, DSP John Ogbebor confirmed the two incidents , saying on receipt of the distress call, he drafted his men to the scene , but unfortunately, the perpetrators had left before their arrival.
He added that the police have launched manhunt for the killers and promise to leave no stone unturned to arrest the perpetrators.
He noted that his men evacuated the corpse from the scene to be deposited in the mortuary, but said the family of the deceased pleaded for the corpse to be released to them for burial which he approved.
He also said the Fulani herder who attacked a man on his farm at Iyade in Abejukolo has been arrested and taken to the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Lokoja and he is already 1qgiving the police useful informtion about the incidence.
When contacted, the command’s Public Relations Officer DSP William Aya, said he was yet to be briefed, but promise to call back.