BY HEMBADOON ORSAR MAKURDI
Heavily armed herdsmen have ambushed a patrol team of the Agro-rangers and Benue State Livestock guards at Mbalaagh Council ward in Makurdi local government area, killing one Livestock Guard, while a member of the Agro Rangers sustained severe injury.
This is even as the Security Adviser to the Benue State Governor Lt.Col Paul Hemba (rtd) lamented the gross shortage of security personnel in the state, who alongside Community member are at the mercy of bandits who ambush and killed few of them on ground”
“We have shortage of security personnels, this is the reason why the herdsmen are now targeting areas they know personnel are less in number to ambush and attack the few Security on ground as well as Community members, so we are appealing to the FG to hasten with the process of Community Policing to help complement regular Security operatives”
Lt.Col Hembah who disclosed this to newsmen in Màkurdi, condemned the attack by the armed bandits, informing that the herdsmen have changed their tactics of attack as they no longer bring cattle for grazing they only come ambushed either members of the communities Security operatives and flee to their hideouts
He said the attack which led to the killing of a member of the Livestock guard and injuring of officer of the Agro-rangers was baseless and without provocation.
Even though Mbalaagh Council Ward is located few kilometers behind the Nigeria Army School of Military Engineering NASME, Makurdi, and had over the years suffered series of attacks by suspected herdsmen.
Hemba also expressed worry over incessant attack on members of the Livestocks Guard and Agro-rangers who are usually out for their legal duties.
“We are worried over the target attacks on Security operatives who are carrying out their legal duties of protecting lives and properties because the team was out for a patrol on motorcycles only to be ambushed by the gunmen suspected to be sponsored by the herdsmen and one of the Livestocks Guard lost his life in the process.
“The attack on Security operatives is being carryout specifically to instill fear and scare them away from carrying out their lawful duties”
He further noted that troops of the Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) were alerted on the incedence, but before they could get to the place the Herdselmen had flee
Commander of the Livestock Guard Linus Zaki who lamented the series of attacks on his members however said they will never discouraged by the attacks and killing of our members in performing their lawful duties, “we will stand by the governor to defend the Benue Valley” he added.