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Fear heightens in Kogi as gunmen kill commissioner, abduct chairman

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THE spate of attacks in Kogi State continued on Saturday with the killing of Pension Board Commissioner Adebayo Solomon and abduction of Chairman of Yagba East Local Government Pius Kolawole.

The officials were attacked alongside others in a vehicle conveying them from Ilorin, Kwara State capital, to Kabba in Kogi State.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state William Aya said they were shot at Eruku village near Egbe, the border town between Kwara and Kogi states by  yet-to-be-identified gunmen.

Aya said the Police were briefed on the incident at about 4:30pm on Saturday and officers were immediately deployed to the scene.

According to him, driver of the vehicle in which the two officials were attacked survived the incident.

While Solomon’s remains were deposited at ECWA Hospital, Egbe, shortly after the incident, the whereabouts of Kolawole remained unknown at the time of filing this report.

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The incident happened days after the senator representing Edo Central at the National Assembly Clifford Ordia was reportedly attacked twice on Okene-Lokoja and Lokoja-Abaji roads by gunmen on his way to Abuja.

Rising attacks in Kogi State have raised fears among residents of the state, according to findings by The ICIR on Sunday.

Residents who spoke with our reporter said it appeared the ‘bad days’ had returned.

A resident of Okenne John Audu said there had been relative peace in the state recently but for some hoodlums in communities in the state.

“Mr Governor has really tried in the past few years on security. You could see that there had been relative peace. But, it appears the bad days have returned with incidents in the past few days,” he stated.

Similarly, a resident of Idah Yusuf Aminat said, “People may not be sleeping well again at night again or conduct their businesses with peaceful minds as they have done in past months. The attacks may be a resurgence of what our state witnessed about two years ago, or spillover of ongoing unrest in northern part of the country to which Kogi belongs.”

Reports, however, indicate that the abduction of the council chairman may not be unconnected with his efforts to rid his council of bandits and herdsmen ‘terrorising’ communities in the council.

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