From Noah Ocheni, LOKOJA
It was a tale of horror and anguish in Bagana, Omala Local Government Area of kogi state as judiciary staff was beheaded at his farm in the early hours of Monday by suspected bandits.
It was reliably gathered that, the deceased, Suleiman Abdulkareem, who is a security guard at the Upper Area Court in the town, met his waterloo when he went to his farm and was reportedly attacked by unknown gunmen and hacked to death, cutting off his head.
The villagers said the deceased was an easy-going man who maintained good neighbourliness.
He had gone to the farm on that day without any premonition of the dangers lurking around, to harvest his farm produce when he was hacked to death.
The locals added that when the news of his gruesome murder frittered to town, the vigilante and hunters mobilised to the scene, but the assailants had since left before they could get there.
It was gathered that the murder was one too many as several persons had fallen to the guns and matchets of these unknown bandits, who often waylaid their victims while either returning from the markets or from their farms.
Bagana, according to our correspondent, is a community inhabited by over 20,000 people and is situated by the bank of river Benue, and about 15 kilometres from Abejukolo, headquarters of Omala Local Government Area of Kogi state.
Residents have been severally attacked by bandits and suspected Fulani herdsmen with over 300 deaths already recorded in the area, not counting the several wanton destruction of property.
It was gathered 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.
“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 remaining are sleeping with our eyes opened, with fears of unexpected attacks from the bandits, fulani herdsmen and some other unknown militias,” a community leader who does not want to be named said.
It was gathered that a 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 destroyed.
“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,” the locals lamented.
Speaking to our Correspondent on phone, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the Local Government, John Ogbebor, confirmed the two incidents, saying on receipt of distress calls, he drafted his men to the scene, but unfortunately, the perpetrators had left before their arrival and promised ro launch a manhunt for the killers, adding that the force would leave no stone unturned to arrest the perpetrators.
When contacted, the state police command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP William Aya, said he was yet to be briefed on the murder, but promised to get back to our correspodent soon, which he is yet to do as at press time.