It was a bloody day in Kogi State. Nine suspected terrorists were killed in a joint operation of security agents, around Obehira junction in Okene, in the central axis of the state, yesterday.
However, one soldier and an operative of the State Security Service lost their lives in the gun duel that lasted about four hours.
Our correspondent further gathered that the joint operation of the SSS, police and the military commenced around 2am on Saturday and ended around 6 o’clock in the morning.
Speaking to newsmen at Okene, the head of the joint operation, Major General Alphonsus Chukwu, said tracking down the terrorists to their hideout was hectic.
He disclosed that nine of the terrorists were gunned down, while the military and the SSS both lost one person each.
He pointed out that the terrorists, who had been making life unbearable for the people of the state through various bank attacks, were traced to their hideout two days ago by men of the Quick Response Squad.
He disclosed that the remnants of the hoodlums had been firing them on high grounds around the battleground, saying no stone would be left unturned until all of them are crushed.
The military officer said he had solicited for assistance of a helicopter through the chief of army staff to enable them track down the remnants of the terrorists.
General Chukwu added that the terrorists were preparing for a serious operation before they were smoked out two pistols, five magazines of AK 47, painted in police colours, some improvised devices and motorcycles they used in their nefarious activities were recovered, he said.
He enjoined parents to do more by propagating values in their wards, saying if one loses character, one has lost everything in life.
According to him, the country has a lot of natural resources whereby one can key into, to acquire skills, stressing that surviving by shedding innocent blood was not acceptable.
Similarly, a senior operative of the SSS told our correspondent that they had uncovered a plot to hit the state during the Easter celebration.
He assured that they would continue to take proactive measures to check the activities of criminal elements who are hell-bent on destabilizing the state.
Meanwhile, Governor Idris Wada has visited the injured men of the SSS who are currently receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja.
He commended security agencies for doing a good job of protecting lives and property, and urged them not to relent in their efforts.
While wishing the injured officers speedy recovery, he assured the people of the state that security agencies are on top of the present challenges.