One of the two policemen declared missing after an encounter with Fulani herdsmen in Benue State on Saturday has been found dead with some with part of his body dismembered.
Four policemen were initially declared missing after they were ambushed by herdsmen in Tse Akpan in Logo Local Government but two returned unhurt.
The policeman’s body was found in the bush in Azege, Tombo Ward yesterday by a police search team. It was dismembered.
In a statement released yesterday by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent, Moses Yamu, the remains of one of the missing Non Commissioned Officer, NCO, has been reportedly found in the area where the attack took place.
The statement read in part: “the Command regrets to announce the death of one of its Non Commissioned Officers, NCO, who was one of the two remaining missing Policemen in the attack on Saturday. “He was found brutally slaughtered, with eyes and ears as well as nose removed.
We pray that God Almighty grants him eternal rest. “However, the Police remains committed to its statutory and daunting obligation of ensuring security as well as protection of life and property of all. “The search for the remaining missing Police officer is still ongoing.” The statement read.
Also yesterday, bodies of two officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were found in Awanger village in Guma Local Government. They were also believed to have been killed by herdsmen.
No official of the NSCDC was available to comment yesterday.
Also yesterday, the Catholic Church prayed for the repose of the souls of the victims of the attacks.
The mass was organised by the four Catholic Dioceses of Makurdi, Gboko, Otukpo and Katsina-Ala.
The Chairman of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, urged Benue people to unite in the face of the security challenges.
Rev. Kaigama, who spoke at the memorial mass for the 73 victims of herdsmen attacks, said the people needed to unite and form a common front devoid of political, religious and traditional sentiments to tackle the security challenges in the state.
The cleric promised to make a case on the plight of the people to the CBCN for consideration.
Bishop William Avenya of Gboko Diocese said the site where the 73 victims were buried would be turned into a pilgrimage centre and a monument of prayer. Avenya said the deceased would be immortalised so that they would be remembered for centuries to come. The cleric also urged the people not to lose hope, stressing that God would never forsake them.
He called on security agencies to hunt down and prosecute the killers, adding that justice must be given to Benue people. The bishop, however, warned the people against posting provocative statements on the social media to heighten tension.
Governor Samuel Ortom expressed appreciation to the Catholic Church for organising the memorial mass. He praised the church for standing for justice and the oppressed, promising that his administration would continue to listen and act on its advice. Ortom vowed that he would not relent in carrying out the wishes of the electorate.