No fewer than four persons have been reportedly killed while two sustained serious injury when suspected bandits laid ambush at Ofeapo along Idrisu-Bagana road in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State.
The bandits were said to have waylaid those returning from the war-torn Bagana market on Thursday and opened fire, killing four persons and injuring two others.
The victims who were mainly traders were traveling on a tricycle popularly known as Keke NAPEP when gunmen opened fire on them at a close range, killing four on the spot, while the two lucky survivors have been evacuated to a nearby medical facility.
However, the Police Command spokesperson, William Aya, while confirming the incident, said one person, a rider of the tricycle, was killed while two others sustained injuries and were rushed to medical facilities in Abejukolo, headquarters of Omala LGA.
He said the Commissioner of Police, Edward Egbuka, has mobilised a tactical squad and officers of the Division to the scene to possibly fish out the perpetrators.
Meanwhile, the paramount ruler of Omala Local Government Area Traditional council, HRH Boniface Musa, the Ojogba of Ife condemned the dastardly act and pray to God to give the family of the victims fortitude to bear the loss.
He decried the incessant attacks on the Bagana people by unknown gunmen, lamenting that this killing has taken the peace process back, at a time when all hands have been on deck for the safe return of the Internally displaced persons IDP to their homes.
He appealed to the state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, to as a matter of urgency wade into the lingering Bagana crisis that has killed tens of people and rendered many homeless.
While urging him to implement the recommendations of the Col. Suleiman Babanawa rtd led committee, he called for the deployment of security agencies to Bagana town to forestall further bloodshed in the Communities.
According to the locals, those who were killed are two males and two females who are natives of Bagana but had to relocate to Abejukolo in the wake of the senseless killings in the Communities.
The locals lamented at the killing which they said, is one too many for a community that has been under siege for more than a decade.
While speaking to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity and amidst sobbing, the locals decried the barbaric actions of the assailants who shot and killed Mrs Zainabu Abdullahi in front of her six months old and chopped off the head of another victim, as the lad mysteriously survived the attack.
They called on Governor Yahaya Bello to take over the security architecture in the community as efforts by his officials in the local government have not been able to stop the carnage.
Recall that the Attah Igala HRM Matthew Alaji Opaluwa had given directives to the belligerents to lay down their arms and embrace peace or be ready to face the wrath of the law.
However, with the assurances of His Royal Majesty of the workable peace process, submission of the committee reports in the past weeks, and the assurance by the Chairman of the council, Ibrahim Aboh to guarantee security for the people, the market was opened before the ugly incident.