An overnight attack by gunmen on a police post in central Benue State has left at least four police officers dead, PREMIUM TIMES learnt Monday.
Witnesses told PREMIUM TIMES the yet-to-be-identified gunmen stormed the police divisional headquarters in Igumale, the headquarters of Ado Local Government Area, shortly after midnight on October 2, killing all the four officers on duty.
Ajibo Ochulayi, a community leader in the agrarian town, told PREMIUM TIMES the attackers carted away the guns and ammunition of the officers.
Mr. Ochulayi said while two officers died on the spot, two others later passed on in a medical centre in Makurdi, the state capital.
“It is sad that the gunmen were able to overpower the policemen and killed all the four of them with little resistance,” Mr. Ochulayi said.
He said the state’s police commissioner, Bashir Makama, visited the scene on Sunday afternoon with a few mobile police officers to assess the aftermath.
Benue is one of the states in central Nigeria that have experienced deadly attacks in recent months due mainly to clashes between farmers and pastoralists.
PREMIUM TIMES chronicled at least 1,269 deaths through herdsmen attacks in the last four years.
But Mr. Ochulayi said police have only launched a manhunt for the assailants, and no one has been identified on the motive of the attack.
POLICE YET TO SPEAK
PREMIUM TIMES’ efforts to reach the police spokespersons for the latest on the attack were unsuccessful.
When contacted, Ezeani Amaechi, who the police listed on its website as the public relations officer in Benue, said he had left the department.
He gave a number of a man he said is his successor, but the number was switched off after several hours of trying.
The telephone number of Don Awunah, the Force PRO in Abuja, has been switched off for weeks.
PREMIUM TIMES reached his deputy, Jimoh Moshood, who promised to make enquiries about the name of the spokesperson in Benue State and revert within minutes.
Mr. Moshood was yet to get back as at the time of publishing this report.