There was panic on Wednesday in Umomi community in the Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State when some policemen attached to the Ugwolawo division opened fire on a crowd of protesting youths.
According to reports, two of the youths, were shot dead by the officers, who immediately fled to their station.
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PUNCH Metro gathered that the youths were protesting the arrest and detention of some residents, including a retired police officer identified as Peter Adama. Our correspondent gathered that Adama and others were arrested around 11pm on Tuesday by some officers attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
A resident, Jeremiah Idege, said the operatives swooped on the community after some Fulani herdsmen reported that their cows had been killed by some residents.
Idege claimed that the allegation was false, saying that the herdsmen had actually invaded and destroyed the community’s farmland.
He said. “We have issues with the Fulani herdsmen and that has been on for as long as 15 years. They have been destroying our farmland with reckless abandon. As I speak with you, our community is wrecked.
“The little we have left was ravaged again by their cows recently and we reported the matter at the Ugwolawo Police Division. We were given four policemen to follow us to assess the level of damage done to our crops.
“Later, the police said we should come to a roundtable meeting with the herdsmen so they could resolve the case; but we refused. We just asked them to leave in peace. If we collect any money from them, they will say they have bought the lands and they will completely take over what we have left.”
It was learnt that a few days after the mediation failed, the herdsmen reported that some cows had been killed by the residents.
The corpses were said to have been abandoned on the road until the Ata of Igala, Mr. Michael Idakwo, reportedly arrived at the scene and ordered that the victims’ families should take them away for burial.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Kogi State Command, William Aya, confirmed the incident, adding that the state Commissioner of Police had gone to visit the scene.
He said, “I don’t have all the details of what transpired now. But the state Commissioner of Police has gone to see what actually transpired and assuage the residents. I will get back when I finally get the details.”
He had, however, yet to call back as of press time.