Three operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have been shot dead by gunmen in Okene.
The Commandant of the NDLEA in Kogi, Alhaji Idris Bello, told reporters on Sunday in Lokoja that the three operatives were gunned down while on patrol.
He said that they were killed at about 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 13 by the gunmen, “who emerged from nowhere’’. Bello said that gunmen came on foot and that the incident occurred close to the main gate of the Federal College of Education, Okene.
He identified the operatives killed as Nicholas Onwumere, Ebun Peters and Abdulrahman Musa. The commandant explained that the NDLEA officers were on duty alongside their three other colleagues when the gunmen struck. Bello said that the officers died on the spot, while the three other colleagues escaped unhurt.
He said that the gunmen collected the rifles of the dead officers and vanished. Bello said that other security agencies in the state had been contacted on the development, saying that efforts were being made to track down the killers.
The Kogi Government had in August established a Forward Operation Base in Okene in partnership with the Nigerian Army to check kidnapping, armed robbery and other violent crimes.
However, the initiative has yet to yield the desired result, according to observers. Analysts suggest that the latest killing may be the handiwork of the jihadist Boko Haram group, which has been striking at soft targets in northern Nigeria, having been degraded substantially by the Nigerian armed forces.
Kogi, regarded as the spiritual headquarters of the jihadist movement, has witnessed bloody attacks by Boko Haram in recent years.