From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia
Following the submission of report by the commission of inquiry instituted to investigate the brutal murder of scores of security operatives in Alakyo, the Nasarawa state government has issued a white on the matter.
An excerpt of the white paper was made available to journalists in Lafia yesterday.
According to the release, 74 security operatives, comprising of 64 policemen and 10 men of the Department of State Services (DSS), were actually killed by the members of the Ombatse militia groups in Alakyo on 7th May, 2013.
That the Ombatse converged on Alakyo from different Eggon communities from across the state to engage in the fatal ambush that led to the death of the operatives.
Contrary to earlier claims by the Ombatse chief priest, Lega Agu, suggesting that it was an act of god that resulted in the death of the security officials, the white paper, citing observations contained in the report of the investigative panel, stated that it is in evidence that fire-arms, cudgels, cutlasses and other lethal weapons were used by the Ombatse in killing and injuring the affected personnel.
The white paper indicted the federal government for its nonchalance over the Alakyo killings even when its agents were the victims, blaming the laxity on law enforcement by relevant components units of the state’s criminal justice system, with obvious perpetrators of violence left to move freely.
The Nasarawa state government wondered why even after its proscription via Legal notice No.4, of 2012, the Ombatse has continued its activities, including the breach of peace, stressing that the group has been hijacked by certain political figures in the Eggon nation to champion their cause and interest.
“The group became well known in 2012 as a militia. The involvement of political forces in the Ombatse has given it vitality and relevance of some sort as to enable it proceed with its activities despite its proscription”, part of the white paper reads.
The report meanwhile has recommended for the prosecution of persons as either founders or officials or promoters or supporters or members or aiders or abettors or errand boys or foot soldiers of the Ombatse, a designated and proscribed group.
Chief among these are; Sen Solomon Ewuga, suspected financier of the group, Rep Haruna Kigbu, Zakariya Zamani Allumaga, Mohammed L. Agu, Zabura Musa Akwashiki and Alhaji Sale Angulu, village head of Angwan Yakubu in Agyaragu.
Others are: Mrs Felicia E. Samuel, Joseph Gabi, Yohanna Labaran Envoh, as well as all the known officials of the Ombatse.
Government has since directed the state ministry of justice to commence the prosecution of the indicted persons in collaboration with relevant security agencies.