The police have evacuated an all-boys Catholic seminary in Taraba State following an invasion of the premises by suspected herdsmen.
Taraba police commissioner, David Akinremi, told PREMIUM TIMES on Monday afternoon that the attack occurred in Jalingo, the state capital, at about 12:30 a.m. Monday.
He blamed suspected herdsmen who had previously had a dispute with the management of the seminary over their grazing activities in and around the premises.
A Catholic priest, Cornelius Pobah, was rushed to the hospital after a bullet hit him in the leg, Mr Akinremi said. The gunmen were said to have specifically requested to see the priest when they stormed the seminary at midnight.
The police chief explained that all students have been evacuated from the school and all threats have also been neutralised. No one was killed in the attack.
Police officers and soldiers arrived at the seminary shortly after the incident was reported through a distress call and immediately combed the area.
No suspect was arrested, but Mr Akinremi said detectives are already on an elaborate manhunt for those responsible for the attack.
“Some shepherds had been coming to the premises to graze their cattle and the priest had challenged them about that in the past,” Mr Akinremi said. “We confirmed that the attackers were speaking Fulani and a little bit of pidgin English.”
“Our men had evacuated the students from the school and fortified the area to ensure that no remnants of the gunmen remained,” the police chief said. “After which we will return the students back to the school.”
The official said the gunmen fled the scene as security officers approached.
The attack comes weeks after suspected herdsmen attacked a Catholic Church parish in Benue State, killing two priests and 17 other worshipers.
Civil society groups on Monday commenced a week-long mourning for the more than 1,000 Nigerians killed by suspected herdsmen this year alone.
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