The police claimed on Wednesday to have arrested three suspects in connection with the Monday and Tuesday gun attacks in Okene, Kogi State, in which a total of 24 persons, including two soldiers, were killed.
Kogi State Police Command, yesterday, announced that it had arrested the leader of the gang at Ibillo, Edo State.
Three other suspects and some traditional rulers were also arrested over the incident.
Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Katsina said: “Some of the traditional rulers arrested from the area were already making useful statements and were being sorted out. Whoever is found culpable would be made to face the law.”
A statement by Force Spokesman, CSP Frank Mba, on the breakthrough said: “Acting on intelligence, crack detectives investigating the case stormed a criminal hideout in Idare Hills of Okene, suspected to be a safe haven for the hoodlums wreaking havoc in the state.
“On sighting the Policemen, the hoodlums opened fire on them, prompting a gun duel. In the ensuing battle, the gang leader identified as Yekini Isah of Obehira area of Okene, sustained injury on his head.
“Though he initially escaped from the scene, he was trailed and arrested in a hideout at Ibilo in Edo State, where he was receiving treatment from traditional healers for his gun wounds.
“Two other suspects, including a female, were arrested during the operation. One AK-47 rifle with 30 rounds of live ammunition was also recovered from the criminals.”
General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Kumuyi, has expressed deep sadness and sorrow at the attack.
He said: “It is hard to reconcile that peace-loving people, sitting in their church, and listening to Bible Study were gunned down in cold blood by people they had done nothing to provoke.” Pastor Kumuyi described the attack as “not only wicked, but utterly premeditated.”
He urged the government to come to terms with the fact that a large number of people are being sent to their early graves, even as law enforcement agents seem unable to provide the required protection for all law-abiding citizens.
All these, he said, have implications for the progress, development and well being of the nation.
He noted that these killings and destruction have been going on particularly in the northern part of the country for too long. Each time they occurred, he observed, the usual condemnations are made, but thereafter, the people are left without any assurance of their security and safety. No nation can continue this way, he added.
Kumuyi urged more prayers by Christians across the nation, adding that when Christians pray, the Almighty God answers.
He said: “If the body of Christians would rise up and pray, and the law enforcement agencies would intensify their efforts to combat this creeping instability, the killings and destruction in our country would be stemmed.”
Kumuyi urged all Christians not to despair, adding “in times like these, when there is so much fear across the land, all Christians must see it as an opportunity to serve God more fervently.”
He sent his condolences to the families of all those who were killed in the attack, and prayed for the quick recovery of all those injured by the gunmen. He assured them that he will continue to pray for them.