*As gunmen kill 10 CJTF men
By James Ibechi
Was it a failure of human memory as to have forgotten that the Nigerian military’s massacre of over 100 Benue people in history was caused by the killing of 19 soldiers on peacekeeping in the state by local people?
Or was it a deliberate act ostensibly caused to stage a repeat of that ugliest episode in the history of the Nigerian military-civilian relationship, so that soldiers in another revenge operation will come and sack Katsina Ala like they did to Zaki-Biam in the time past, that some blood thirsty men, murderers, while the state governor, Samuel Ortom and ranks and files of the Armed Forces converged on IBB Square for the Armed Forces and Remembrance Day celebration, stole into the meeting of the Civilian Joint Task Force, CJTF and killed ten of its men?
According to report on some popular news sites today, the ten members of CJTF, were gunned down by unknown men at Abaji in Katsina/Ala Local Government Area of the state.
It was learnt the attack also left two members of the taskforce with life-threatening injuries.
The state chairman of the CJTF, Alhaji Aliu Teshaku, who confirmed the sorry incident stated that the victims were holding their routine weekly meeting when they were attacked.
Tseshaku said: “The information I received was that our members were in a meeting today (Sunday), when three armed men on motorbike, dressed in Mobile Police uniform, suddenly stormed the meeting venue and opened fire on the unarmed CJTF members killing 10 of them on the spot, while two others were left with serious bullet injuries.”
Lamenting the killings, Teshaku said the CJTF had over a period of time been in a running battle with a traditional ruler in the area, who he said had been threatening members of the task force to leave the area.
He noted that “a few days ago, I reported the matter to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security and just today (yesterday) this happened.”
When contacted, the State Command Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent Moses Yamu, corroborated the account of the CJTF Chairman.
Yamu, however, said nine members of the task force were killed on the spot, while others sustained injuries, adding that the bodies had been deposited at the General Hospital mortuary at Katsina-Ala. He said the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bashir Makama, had drafted more personnel to the area to forestall further attack, while investigations into the matter had commenced.