By Ademola Akanni, Abuja
The Nigerian Police Force (NPF) have confirmed that four policemen were killed in a battle with bandits on Birnin Gwari – Funtua highway on Friday, 15 January, 2021, reports The Gazelle News.com.
Also, one of the policemen was still missing as at the time of writing this report.
This confirmation was given on Sunday, 17 January, 2021 in a statement signed by the Force Police Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Frank Mba, a Commissioner of Police.
According to Mba, the ambushed policemen were 16 contrary to the earlier 18 by the media. They were attached to Police Mobile Force (PMF) 9 Squadron, Kano.
He stated that the officers were attacked by the bandits but repelled the attack and ‘successfully’ neutralised the bandits.
However, while Mba confirmed that four policemen were killed and one missing, he did not state the casualty figure on the part of the bandits, only that they were repelled and many of them scampered into the bush with gunshot injuries.
“The officers are personnel attached to Operation Puff Adder and deployed to Niger State in the sustained operation to reclaim the public space and tackle incidents of banditry, kidnapping and other violent crimes in the area.
“Contrary to unconfirmed reports in some sections of the media stating 18 officers were kidnapped, only 16 officers were attacked in the ambush. The officers successfully repelled the attack accordingly and neutralized the bandits in their tens while many of the bandits scampered into the bush with gunshot injuries.
“Regrettably, four of the officers paid the supreme price during the exchange of gun fire between the police and the bandits while an officer is still missing. However, the remaining 11 officers led by their Unit Commander, successfully recovered the bodies and firearms of their fallen colleagues while concerted efforts are being intensified to rescue the officer still missing,” Mba said.
The Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Adamu, has meanwhile, commended the officer “for displaying uncommon gallantry and repelling the attack on their convoy by bandits numbering about hundred along the Birnin Gwari – Funtua Highway on Friday, 15th January, 2021, on their way back to their base in Kano after the completion of their special duty.
“The IGP, while commiserating with the families of the officers who have yet again paid the supreme price in the service of our nation, assures that their death shall not be in vain.
“The IGP assures the citizens that the Force is not deterred and will not relent in its commitment to delivering on its mandate and ensuring that all activities of bandits and other unscrupulous elements in the area and other parts of the country are brought to check”.