From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
A farmer, Omoja Augustine Ida has been allegedly killed by some unidentified naval officers in Itale, Ibaji local government area of Kogi state on Wednesday.
The slain victim was reported to be killed in his community when some suspected naval officers invaded the community on Wednesday.
The Public Relations Officer, Itale Elite Association, Dr Alex Attah disclosed this in a statement made available to Our correspondent in Lokoja on Thursday.
Dr Attah noted that, the suspected naval officers were led into the village by the SSA to the Governor on security in Ibaji Local Government area, Honourable William Iko-ojo alleging that, there was crisis in the community which needed to be tackled by the security agency.
The PRO who wondered in dismay the motive behind the presence of the naval officers in the community when there was no uproar, alleged that, the officers came to their community shooting sporadically.
Attah added that, the community had petitioned the Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Ede Ayuba to bring the perpetuators of this wicked act to book adding that, the community had been having a long history of communal clash with some warring neighbouring community which is currently addressed being addressed by the Nigerian Police and the Ibaji local government peace and security committee.
While frowning that the Nigerian navy has no constitutional backing of resolving communal land dispute, Dr Attah called on the Naval authority to call some of their officers to order and avoid being used by some individuals to cause mayhem in a community that had over the years enjoy peaceful co-exiatence.
He recounted that, the remote cause of the issue is still the Iyano crisis alleging that, some people are planning to carry out a vendetta on his people.
Dr Attah further alleged that the current SSA on security to the governor in Ibaji local government is an ally of a monarch who had consistently threatened the peace of his community.
He called on relevant stakeholders, all and sundry within Ibaji local government to immediately call them to order and refrain from intimidation and harassment of the people of Itale community.
In a swift reaction, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Kogi State Governor on Security in Ibaji Local Government, Hon. William Iko-ojo told our correspondent that as the chief security officer of the local government, protection of lives and properties of Ibaji people remains his top priority which is inline with the current administration in the state.
Iko-ojo while narrating the incident noted that, there have been a problem between Itale and Ishi communities in Ibaji over fish pond for over a year now.
According to him, they were trying to settle a matter in a community when they got a distress call that, some people from two different community were fighting inside the bush with dangerous weapons hence he immediately mobilize men of the Nigerian Navy to see how it will be nipped in the bud.
Explaining further, the SSA security said, despite the effort by the security agency to broker peace among the warring parties, some youths who were fully armed with dangerous weapons and charms in their neck and waist started shooting at the naval officers.
He added that this action led to a gun duel between the suspected individuals and naval officers in which one of them was shot, two arrested and the others took their heels.
He said they took the injured one with bullet wounds to the hospital but gave up the ghost when medical personnel’s were attending to him.
Iko-ojo averred that, the naval operatives were able to retrieve single gun bullets and charms from the arrested suspects and had been handed over to the relevant authority for prosecution.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations officer, (PPRO), William Aya told Our Correspondent that he is not aware of the incident yet.