There was palpable fear in the Katapka community of Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State following the alleged killing of three soldiers and two vigilante group members by bandits who invaded the local government on Tuesday.
Unidentified gunmen had on February 1, 2024, murdered three persons and destroyed properties worth millions of naira in the Katapka and Okudu communities in the area which prompted the Nigerian Army to deploy its personnel to the location for the maintenance of law and order.
Our correspondent, however, gathered that while the military personnel were making efforts towards restoring normalcy in the area, the bandits launched a fresh attack on Tuesday afternoon which led to the death of three soldiers and two vigilante group members.
Speaking on the incident via telephone with our correspondent in Lafia on Wednesday, the Chairman of Toto Local Government Area, Abdullahi Aliyu-Tashas, described the untimely death of the security personnel as sad.
He said, “The suspected bandits laid ambush for the military personnel who were on patrol to maintain law and order in the area and killed three of them on the spot.
“Katakpa community had been recently attacked, and as a result of that, the soldiers were drafted to Katakpa to maintain law and order, but they were unfortunately killed in an ambush on Tuesday afternoon.”
He added that the state government had taken over the matter and made efforts towards handling the situation, adding that more security operatives had been sent to the area to forestall further breakdown of law and order.
Meanwhile, an ethnic group in the area, the Bassa Cultural Development Union, has called on the state governor, Abdullahi Sule, to fish out those behind the attacks on the community.
This was contained in a statement signed by its chairman, Emmanuel Gbaji, and made available to journalists in Lafia on Wednesday.
The statement read, “We the Bassa community of Nasarawa State, have barely recovered from the shock of the attack on Okudu village when we received news of the attack on Katapka vIllage. The unfortunate event came with the loss of three lives and wanton destruction of property.
“We want to call on His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr. A. A Sule, as the Chief Security Officer of the state, to use his good office to fish out the perpetrators of these criminal attacks so that peace can return to Toto Local Government Area.
“We want to send our deep condolences to the families and relatives of the victims, and we ask God to give them the fortitude to bear their loss. We are deeply pained by their loss and we pray that God would comfort them.”