ANGERED that they had been perpetually shortchanged by their leaders, former militants in the creek unleashed mayhem in the early hours of Saturday, killing 13 policemen in Azuzuama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The death of the policemen followed a threat to resume hostilities by midnight of Friday from the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) to the Federal Government over complaints that their leaders on the amnesty programme had consistently shortchanged them over funds released as their monthly emoluments.
The policemen, it was learnt, were killed at a burial ceremony by suspected former militants whose identities are yet to be known.
They were said to have been shot severally and abandoned in the pool of their blood, a development that disrupted the burial programme.
Out of fear of being hit by stray bullets, many of the villagers scampered into their houses, the community was thrown into panic.
Sunday Tribune’s check revealed that the trouble started when the former militants were agitating for their money, alleged to have been used by one of their leaders to organise the burial of his late father.
It was learnt that among the killed policemen were sergeants, one of whom was said to have been identified as Jack, and others in the rank and file.
In the meantime, the killing of the policemen has caused panic among policemen posted to Southern Ijaw localities, even as men of the state police command were seen in groups discussing the development.
It was, however, learnt that the command’s B Operations Department had dispatched another team of policemen to the scene of the crime to recover the corpses of the slain policemen.
Sunday Tribune’s findings showed that the fear precipitated by the killing of the policemen had spread to the state capital, Yenagoa.
Reacting, the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Kingsley Omire, at a press briefing, confirmed the incident. He said 15 policemen were on official assignment before they were ambushed by the ex-militants. He, however, denied that 13 members were killed saying four policemen were rescued while 11 were still missing and that they were on top of the situation.
In another development, gunmen suspected to be rampaging Fulani herdsmen in large number, on Saturday, attacked Karkashi village in Langtang South Local Government Area of Plateau State, killing seven people, while many sustained various degrees of injuries.
A source close to the village told Sunday Tribune that the same gunmen also attacked another village called Zango in Wase Local Government Area and razed down many buildings, but they were repelled by the villagers who killed four of them.
The spokesman of the Special Task Force in charge of security in the state, Captain Salisu Mustapha, who confirmed the killing, said the gunmen, at about 2.00 a.m., stormed the village and killed seven people, while many others sustained gunshot wounds.
He added that four of the attackers were arrested and were being interrogated to know the level of their involvement, saying they would be handed over to the police for prosecution as soon as investigation was concluded.
Captain Mustapha enjoined the people of the affected villages to remain calm and go about their lawful businesses and report any suspected movement to the law enforcement agencies.
In another attack, the relative peace in Adamawa State was again disturbeb in the early hours of Saturday as the private residence of the deputy governor, Mr James Bala Ngilari, was attacked.
In the process Ngilari’s close relative, a private guard and nine other persons were killed, while many valuable properties were carted away.
Eyewitness account has it that the attackers first attempted to break into the house without success, but succeeded in arresting Ngilari’s aide who lives in another house in Madagali town, who, under duress, led them to the deputy governor’s private residence where he directed them to open the main gate to the house while the assailants ransacked the house and made away with the valuable properties.
Other sources contacted told Sunday Tribune that the personal aide to the deputy governor was later killed along with a security man.
However, when Sunday Tribune contacted the Adamawa State Police Command, it was confirmed that nine other victims of Madagali town were attacked.
The Police Public Relation Officer, DSP Mohammed Ibrahim, said in information from Yola area indicated that some unknown people invaded the village and killed their victims with a sharp objects suspected to be dagger.
An eyewitness who narrated the incident to newsmen said the attackers invaded the town of Madagali and Midlu village in the early morning of Saturday.