The Governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Umaru Al-Makura, on Wednesday confirmed the killing of more than 20 policemen by a militia group, known as “Ombatse” at Atakio Village along the Akwanga-Lafia road.
Ombatse in Eggon language means “time has come”.
Confirming the incident, while speaking to State House correspondents, Al-Makura said the victims were murdered while on official duty.
He said the policemen were on lawful duty, dislodging the militia group when they were ambushed and killed.
The governor said that the group, which had besieged the state, were bent on destabilising the State Government.
“This group is causing the commotion and insecurity in order to upstage the government,” he said.
Al-Makura, who was at the State House to brief the Vice President, Alhaji Namadi Sambo, on the menace of the group, told the correspondents that the State Government had a year ago dislodged the group.
He expressed regrets that the group re-surfaced about a fortnight ago, unleashing mayhem and killing innocent people.
“We have a very bitter security problem that has caused the death of some security officers in the state.
“Two weeks ago, we discovered a certain militia group holding arms and carrying out cultist activities in the state.
“Since January, this thing has not abated and in the past two weeks, it took a total different dimension.
“They have been going from one place to another, including churches and telling people from that particular ethnic group to come and take portions that are meant to empower them to do what they want to do.
“This escalated and is causing serious concern for the state. We decided to hold security meeting to find a way of solving the problem.”
According to Al-Makura, the militia has resumed hostility by attacking and forcibly initiating people from their tribal group into their group by making them to drink prepared concoctions to hallucinate them and make them do their bidding.
The governor, however, expressed the readiness of his administration to uproot the group by whatever means available to it.
He announced that the State Government would hold an emergency security meeting to deliberate on the matter for appropriate action.
Al-Makura also pledged that the State Government would assist the families of the victims of the attack.