- The soldiers were attracted to sound of gunshots in Oleigada Ikolo community of Agatu Local Government area in Benue
- They found that the gunshots were part of funeral rites at a burial ceremony in the community but frowned at explanations of how the youths came about the locally-made weapons
- Soldiers shot at the youth leader and angered the followers who attacked the military men; killed one and critically injured two others
A soldier with the Nigerian Army has been killed by youths during a fight in Oleigada Ikolo community of Agatu Local Government area in Benue.
The Punch reports that eyewitnesses said the soldiers based at the Oweto Bridge, a boundary between Nasarawa and Benue states, stormed the neighbouring Oleigada Ikolo village when they heard gunshots coming from the village.
It was gathered that the soldiers stormed the village to ascertain the cause of the gunshots only to that a burial ceremony was taking place and the gunshots were part of the funeral rites.
The soldiers picked an argument with one of the youths who was carrying a locally made gun and ended up allegedly shooting at the leader of the youths but that the bullets could not penetrate his body.
The youths, angered by the provocation, allegedly shot dead a soldier and critically injured two others.
The Punch reports that Benue Governor Samuel Ortom confirmed the attack during a stakeholders’ meeting held in the Benue State Government House in state capital Makurdi on Monday, February 13.
He said: “At a time we are making peace in the troubled Agatu communities, some irate youths, who were at a burial, on Saturday, attacked and killed one soldier while two others were seriously injured. They also snatched their rifles.”
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The governor said the rifles were, however, recovered on Sunday “through the efforts of the commandant”, even as he tasked the elders and stakeholders of the community to ensure the arrest of the youths.
“Thank God that some of the elders and stakeholders from Agatu are here. I know that it is not in your own interest that these youths are taking the law into their own hands. Please, help us and help yourself to get those behind the attack arrested, they are not good elements but bad elements in our society,” Ortom said.