The police have beefed up security in Nasarawa State following the attack on security personnel by the Ombatse militia group during which about 47 policemen and State Security Service operatives were killed.
This is just as the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, directed the Assistant Inspector-General in charge of Zone 4, Mike Zuokumour, to take over the investigation.
A huge number of riot policemen from different squadrons including undercover detectives, and the Anti-bomb Squad had been deployed on the state to check the militia group which is believed to have taken hostage or killed Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Momoh, who led the security forces that were ambushed in Assakio village in Nasarawa State last Tuesday.
The burnt bodies of 30 policemen had been recovered and deposited at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, but 17 policemen including Momoh could not be accounted for.
No fewer than nine police patrol vehicles were also burnt by the militia group during the ambush.
Twenty-eight riot policemen who survived the attack have returned to their base in Akwanga. Some of them lost their rifles to the attackers.
Abubakar who was at Lafia on Saturday to get a brief on the attack and to condole with the state police command on the loss of its personnel, ordered a scale up of security men to reassure the residents of their safety.
The Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said more security personnel were deployed in the state to ensure public safety and to prevent a breakdown of law and order.
He said more bodies of the policemen had been recovered but he could not give the exact number of corpses.
On the report that the Federal Government might deploy soldiers against the militia group following the inability of the police and State Security Service operatives to oust members of the group, Mba declined comments, saying it was a sensitive security issue.
He said, “The operation against the militia group is ongoing and we have beefed up security in the state to assure the citizens of their safety; AIG in charge of Zone 4, Mike Zuokumour, has taken over the investigation on the directive of the IG.”
The IG had earlier ordered a manhunt for the killers of the security personnel and directed all the field commanders and special units including assistant inspectors-general of police and commissioners of police to harness all resources available within their domain to apprehend the criminals.