By Isaac Ukpoju
The Nasarawa State Police Command on Tuesday confirmed that three policemen have been killed by suspected herdsmen at Maraban-Udege village in the Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state.
The Public Relations Officer of the command, ASP. Samaila Usman, told newsmen in Lafia that the three policemen were ambushed and killed on June 3 on their way to quell a crisis between Agatu farmers and herdsmen.
Usman said, however, that the command had mobilised a reinforcement team, led by an assistant commissioner of police to fish out the killers of the policemen.
He said that the corpses of the policemen, an inspector, a sergeant and a corporal had been recovered and deposited at a morgue.
The spokesman did not disclose the names of the dead policemen.
The Nasarawa State and the neighbouring Benue, described as the food basket of the nation have witnessed recurring deadly attacks by herdsmen.
The development has raised concerns that Nigerians may contend with hunger in the near future because of the inability of farmers to cultivate their farms, due to incessant attacks by herdsmen.
Meanwhile, Gov. Umaru Al-Makura had commiserated with the police over the latest killings.
He stressed the need for residents in the state to bury their differences and work for peace and harmonious co-existence.
Al-Makura also tasked leaders of Egbura and Bassa ethnic groups to end the crisis between the two groups in the Toto Local Government Area of the state, which according to him, has left scores of people dead and many communities destroyed.
He blamed leaders in the area for not doing enough to resolve their differences to nip the skirmishes in the bud.
“I must say I blame the elites of both tribes for what is happening in these communities and they must take responsibility for this carnage.
“This is because, if we have elites who are patriotic, who want peace and stability and elites, who have the feeling and interest of the people at heart, they would have come together to find solution to the crisis.
“You have lived, schooled and worked together as brothers and sisters in the same local government area. What is it that is so difficult to amend in terms of social interaction?
“I am challenging all the elites that it’s high time you all realised the kind of danger you are putting the people by fanning the embers of hatred and enmity, which will not augur well for the development of the local government area.
“If you as elites do not sit together on the drawing board to ensure amicable and mutual solution and build confidence between the two tribes, you are sowing a seed that will destroy all of you.”
The governor described the level of devastation caused by the crisis as “sickening,” urging the people to sheath their swords and embrace peace in their own interest.
Al-Makura warned the people not to take laws into their hands as the law would always catch up with those found to be perpetrating the crisis.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Local Government Council, Mr Nuhu Dauda, said that over 12, 000 people had been displaced with many people killed.
He said that many communities had also been destroyed since the latest crisis started on April 24.
The chairman, however, lauded the State Government and security agencies for their efforts to end the crisis.
He appealed for the deployment of more security operatives to tackle the incessant attacks being witnessed in communities in the area