Niger Lawmakers Plead For Release Of Remains Of 28 Slain Security Operatives

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By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna


Bullets riddled bodies of the slain security operatives killed by armed bandits at Galadiman Kogo in Shiroro Council Area of Niger State are still muddled up and jammed on the floor of the Minna General Hospital four days after bands of armed criminal bandits ambushed the security men who were on patrol in the remote bush area of the village.
Twenty eight security operatives and a local from the village were gunned down by the bandits who trailed and accosted the security men who were on patrol in two Hillux vans.
The remains of the security men including military men and Mobile Police men plus a civilian were left on the bush paths, abandoned farmlands and bushes where they were gunned down by the bandits who swooped on the patrol vans as they veered into the booby traps laid by the bandits.
Niger State House of Assembly on Wednesday pleaded with the state government to intervene in the prompt release of the corpses of the slain security operatives to their families for proper burials.
A member of the legislature, Hon. Bala Abba from Borgu state constituency, who, while tabling a matter of urgent public importance, lamented that how the bodies of the security men who laid their lives to bring peace and ensure security to the state, were abandoned on the floor of the morgue at the Minna General Hospital.
The lawmaker said it was disheartening to see how the bodies of those who sacrificed their lives to ensure that banditry was ended were themselves consumed by the bullets of the bandits and their remains were left disrespectfully on bare floor for days as there were no spaces in the morgue to accommodate the bodies of the slain men.
The motion elicited emotional responses and bitter comments from members who called on the state governor to promptly intervene to press for the release of the remains to their families without further delay.
Speaker of the Assembly, Honourable Abdullahi Bawa Wuse, while presiding over the session, mourned the gruesome killing of the security operatives and the civilian amongst them.
He regretted that there were fifth columnists and informants amongst the villagers who were leaking vital intelligence to armed bandits on the operations by security operatives in the area.
Special prayers for the repose of the souls of the slain men were offered just as prayers against banditry in parts of the state were said.Last Sunday, a band of armed bandits had laid siege on two patrol vans carrying twenty eight security operatives and a local.
The occupants were swooped upon in swift manner by the bandits who laid in wait for the approaching vehicles on the fringes of the village and attacked the vehicles.
The remains of the security operatives were scattered at different parts of the bushland as they probably attempted to escape the fire power of the bandits.
The remains of the twenty eight security men were brought to the Minna General Hospital on Monday  and left on the floor of the mortuary as there were no spaces in the morgue.
The development attracted crowd of onlookers who trooped to the mortuary to catch glimpse of the bullet riddled bodies of the slain security men.
Four days after the incident, neither the military command nor the police in the state had made any comment on the development.
Last Sunday’s attack is about the ugliest recorded cases of attack on security men on patrol.
Earlier this year, a band of armed bandits had laid siege on security men at Zazzaga area of Munya council area and killed four military men including a Captain and three others as their patrol van veered into the bushland in pursuit of bandits who had invaded the village.

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