Tuesday 14 May 2013

Slain policemen: Widows demand husbands’ entitlements •Say N1m not our problem •Vow to continue blocking federal highways

“THEY killed our husbands yoyoyo, and then say na work ooo, yoyoyo!!! One million naira is not our problem! Allah yayisa (meaning God will punish them!) What we are saying is that the government should give employment to widows and the children.”
These were the words that rented the air at the Nasarawa State Police Headquarters, on Monday, when the widows of the slain police officers killed by the outlawed Ombatse militia boys at Alakyo village in Lafia East Development Area of the state last week Tuesday, visited the command to receive the donation of N1 million each from the state government.
The event, which almost turned awry when the widows started casting aspersion on the state government and police authorities for playing politics with the death of their spouses, witnessed another protest during which the widows vowed to continue blocking the federal highway in Akwanga even after five days until the entitlements of their spouses were fully paid.
In their separate reactions, Mrs Mary Levis and Fatima Monday, lamented that Nasarawa had not been battling with the Boko Haram insurgency, wondering why a large number of the officers would be deployed to that environment.
It took the intervention of Police Force Welfare Officer, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Mrs Abiodun Ige, to calm the women down by appealing to them to put their trust in God, “as He is the only one who could console them.” She assured them that necessary action had already been taken at the Force Headquarters to see to their welfare and the entitlements of their late husbands.

Mrs. Ige, who supervised the disbursement of the money to the widows, also assured them that the Police would follow the same procedure in paying their husbands’ entitlements without encountering any difficulty.
Earlier, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP), Zone 4, Makurdi, Mr Michael Zuokumor, who announced the arrival of the new Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Shehu, said the donation from the state government came in form of help to ameliorate their immediate needs, as their husbands’ entitlements would be given to them without any further delay.
He further assured them that the life insurance would also be provided with a view to assisting the children of the late officers.
AIG Zuokumor, who had temporarily relocated to Lafia, the state capital, to coordinate the operations lamented that Ombatse militia group is a devil which all peace-loving people must join hands to flush out of the society.
Also speaking, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Hajia Zainab Abdulmunini, who represented Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura to present N1 million cheques to the widows, condemned in strong term the wanton killings of the security personnel who were trained to protect lives and properties.
She added that since the incident happened, the governor and the entire members of his cabinet had been having sleepless nights, while the governor had since been shuttling between Lafia and Abuja, to ensure that those behind the killings faced the full wrath of the law.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the widows of late Momoh and Zing received N3 million and N1.5 million respectively.
Momoh led the operation during which they were killed.
Nasarawa killings: Prisons service officer, woman, 2 others arrested
The state police command has arrested four persons in connection with the killings.
Nigerian Tribune investigations revealed that four persons arrested were one inspector (name withheld), an Eggon by tribe working with the state command of the prisons service, a middle-aged woman suspected to be cooking for the group at the village and two serving policemen, also Eggon by tribe.
Informed police source told the Nigerian Tribune that the four suspects were currently at the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) helping the police in their investigations.
Impeccable source further told the Nigerian Tribune that about 20 rifles and seven magazines were recovered from the scene of the incident, on Monday, while the ammunition were taken away by the members of the militia group.
Investigations also revealed that the directive of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, that the elite in the state, particularly Eggons, should fish out the perpetrators had been yielding results, as members of the group were said to have agreed to release all the rifles in their possession to the owners.
It was gathered that the militias had warned the Red Cross and Nasarawa State Emergency Management Authority (NASEMA) team not to come with any security operative when coming for the evacuation of other corpses. “Who dare goes to the lion den. These boys are still armed. Maybe their sponsors have told them to return the guns, but the ammunition and some magazines are still with them,” the source added.
FG begins probe of killings
The Federal Government has commenced a full-fledged probe of last week’s killing of security operatives by members of the Ombatse cult group in Nasarawa.
Investigations by the Nigerian Tribune confirmed that top security agencies, including the police and the Directorate of State Security (DSS), had been mandated to get to the roots of the killings by a presidential directive.
The president had, last week Friday, met with the top brass of security chiefs, during which the situation in Nasarawa was analysed.
Sources in Abuja told the Nigerian Tribune that the government had got wind of the different dimensions to the crisis, including a claim that some politicians actually used the group to their advantage in the 2011 election.
It was learnt that the security agencies were examining all sides to the issue, with a view towards preparing a full report for the president.
A source within the administration said that the state commissioner of police probably embarked on the operation with a view to briefing the headquarters afterwards.
“The initial reports before the government indicates that the CP did not get order from the Force Headquarters, while the State Director of Security Services also did not get the go ahead from Abuja before the operation. I can confirm to you that the duo has been questioned,” a source said.
The source said that the police and SSS were already checking what actually went wrong and why it appeared that the operation was considered a local affair.
“The security team probing the incident is asking questions as to why the heavy deployment of security men was undertaken. Was it to stop a forceful initiation or destroy the shrine? The shrine is well known to them because the police had invaded the area before. I think the cultists were determined to prevent a second raid of their shrine,” another source told the Nigerian Tribune.
A source further said “it appears to the government that the top security operatives in the state handled the matter believing that it was one operation they could handle and latter send report to the Headquarters.”
A source also said that the cultists apparently charmed the security operatives before killing them.

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