Gunmen Kill 7 In Okpareke Community in Kogi

From  Joseph Amedu, Lokoja

The country home of the former Chief of Army Staff, Major General Mohammed Chris Ali(red) in Okpareke in Kogi local government area of Kogi state, was attacked by unknown gun men killing several people, including the son of the village head .

According to residents of the village, the assailants invaded the community during the early hours of last Tuesday, shooting sporadically to create panic and pandemonium.

There was a rumour earlier making the rounds that Bassa-Komu fighters from Bassa local government area of the state will attack Egbira settlements in Kogi local government as being witnessed in Nasarawa state and some parts of the state.

To frighten the people the more was the night and early morning attacks usually associated with the Bassa’s style of violent engagements

A source who will not want his name mentioned, revealed that the invaders embarked on looting properties especially food items, a situation that provoked the residents to repel the attackers.

It was learnt that the attackers opened fire on the villagers who were resisting the invasion and killed the son of the village head.

Another source hinted that the people of the village fought their attackers to a standstill until they were finally repelled leaving some dead and injured.

When our Correspondent visited Okpareke on Friday, hundreds of people had fled while some were seen carrying away  their essential properties.

The Okpareke community comprises  proper of Egbira,  Basss-Komu, Gbagi, Ganagana, Igbo, Ijaw and Fulani origin.

Okpareke is an Egbira settlement harbouring all other tribes that come for farming and other businesses. It is endowed with fertile soil and potential for mass food production.

Meanwhile,  the Administrator of Kogi LGA, Barrister Tanko Musa and the Ohimege Igu,  Alhaji Abdulrazak Isa Koto paramount ruler of the area summoned a meeting of the traditional rulers of all the ethnic groups and stakeholders in the area to discuss and assess the security situation of the area.

The Ohimege Igu who presided over the meeting appealed to the fleeing residents to return to their homes and continue with their normal businesses.

The paramount ruler who assured them of the protection of lives and property, said that the governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has ordered for immediate re -enforcement of mobile policemen, soldiers and other security agencies to augment the ones already on ground.

While giving assurances of protection , Alhaji Isa Koto, warned against rumour mongering which he said had been causing more confusion.

He particularly pointed accusing finger to the Fulanis whom he alleged are taking advantage of the crisis to let their animals loose on the deserted farms to feed from the crops.

He directed the village heads to verify informations thoroughly before divulging same forward.

The Administrator of the LG,  Musa, while commiserating with the victims of the unwarranted attack, appealed for calm and cooperation so as to overcome the ugly situation.

He equally assured that the government and security agencies are on top of the situation and all those behind the crisis will be brought to book without delay.