Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Saturday said that government would set up a judicial panel of inquiry to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the March 14 herdsmen/farmers clash that claimed several lives in Ogane-Enigu.
Bello disclosed this while addressing troops of 913 Battalion of the Nigeria Army stationed at Aloko-Ogane-Enigu, Dekina Local Government, to end the hostilities and restore peace to the affected communities.
He said that the armed bandits were poised to sack the communities but were contained by security agencies that included the Army, Police and the DSS .
“The primary responsibility of any government is to secure lives and property. We shall not play politics with the lives of our people.
“We shall unravel everything that is behind these attacks. By the grace of God, this attack is going to be the first and the last in this place and the state.
“As a government, we will, as much as possible, comfort the families affected and ensure that those injured received prompt medical attention,” he said.
The governor had earlier undertaken an on-the-spot assessment visit to the troubled communities in Ogane-Enigu and Ojuwo-ajomaigbi in Dekina and Bassa Local Governments respectively.
Mr Aaron Baba, a member of Ojuwo-Ajomaigbi community, whose father was killed in the attack, told the governor that 12 people were buried along with his father, adding that many others were still missing.
“They took us by surprise. They came in military camouflage with AK-47, AK-45 and AK-49. You can see the empty bullet shells scattered all over. I am appealing to government for assistance.”
He expressed shock at the attack “because we have been friendly with the herdsmen here and very often engaged in trade by batter with them until they started behaving “very strangely”.
Mr Samaila Maji, another member of the community, said that the attackers invaded the communities around 8 a.m. on Wednesday and started shooting at the natives.
“Our people tried to repel the attackers but where overwhelmed because they were more than 500. Our people had no option but to flee,” he said, adding that 25 people were killed while many others injured.
Mr Reuben Okai, one of the victims, appealed to government to come to the aid of the people as many had lost everything.
“They (attackers) made away with food stuff and all valuables; they also stole cash and 45 motorcycles belonging to our youths,” he said.