By Peter Duru, Makurdi
A member of Benue Live stock Guard has been reportedly shot dead while an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, attached to the Agro-Rangers sustained injuries when suspected armed bandits ambushed them while on patrol at Mballagh Ward in the outskirts of Makurdi.
The team was said to be on routine patrol of parts of Makurdi, the state capital on Friday when they came under severe attack at about 4 pm.
Addressing the media on the development, Security Adviser to the state governor, Col. Paul Hemba (retd) said the incident happened behind the Nigeria Army School of Military Engineering, NASME, barracks in Makurdi.
According to him, “Members of the Livestock Guards, who were in company of the Agro Rangers were on their way back from patrol when they were ambushed by some armed bandits, who saw the patrol team coming and suddenly opened fire on them, killing one of them, a member of the Livestock Guard instantly.
“His corpse has been deposited at the mortuary of the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH) while one other who is from the Agro Rangers got hit by the eye and he is receiving treatment’’.
“On hearing this we immediately called on members of Operation Whirl Stroke, who responded swiftly, but before their arrival, the gunmen fled.”
Continuing, Col. Hemba said, “The pattern of attacks we have noticed in recent time is that they are particularly targeting members of the Livestock Guards, probably to intimidate them and stop them from doing their job.
Corroborating Hemba’s account, Commander of the Livestock Guards who was part of the patrol team, Mr. Linus Zaki, said “we were patrolling the communities in that area on motorcycles when the incident happened.
“We suddenly heard gunshots from both sides of the road. Unfortunately, we lost our men and another was injured.
“These attacks will not discourage us from doing our jobs because we cannot vacate our land to them,” the Commander said.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent, DSP, Catherine Anene, said she had not received the report of the incident.