A man who admits to be an Ombatse traditional religionist in Nassarawa State has told SaharaReporters their group killed 95 policemen today, nearly four times the 23 the police have admitted.
Earlier, Abayomi Akeremale, the State Police Commissioner, said, "The
Ombatse gunmen opened fire on our men, killing 23 and burning them,"
Nassarawa state police chief said, adding that 17 officers remain
Akeremale said the security forces decided to arrest some Ombatse
leaders after they receive reports they were embarking on forced
conversions in the village of Elakyo, near Lafia, the Nassarawa capital.
Speaking through an interpreter on the phone, the traditional
religionist denied shooting at the policemen, saying his groupresponded
only with machetes and knives, not bullets, and only after the police
had killed nine of their members.
Denying that they have been committing force conversions in mosques
and churches, he said the policemen arrived in 12 patrol trucks and
opened fire on his group.
“We were in our place performing our rites, when our members alerted
us that police may come for our father and leader,” he said. “Suddenly
that day, the armed police came with guns and we say what happened? They
did not answer us but started spraying teargas on us and killed nine of
our members. In return for self defence we killed 95 of them, we have
no guns it was machetes that we used in defending ourselves and
eventually killed them. There is nothing like gun attacks.”
On attacking mosques and churches, the sect member, first pointing
out he has not been instructed to speak, denied the reports.
“We don’t do that,” he told our reporter. “Our group is serious
about morality, we are against liquor and don’t harbour it, no sleeping
with men and no stealing. We are on our own seeking protection for our
own people, and the police just entered us.”