By Our Correspondent
Over fifteen people in Otukpo, Benue State, North Central Nigeria have been reportedly killed by gunmen suspected to be armed robbers.
The gunmen invaded four banks in Otukpo at about 3 pm on Friday, shooting sporadically.
An eyewitness, Sunday Abah, who witnessed the scenes, said the gunmen have operated for several hours without security intervention.
“Armed robbers have taken over everywhere in Otukpo. They are just shooting whoever they see.
“Currently, they are robbing Zenith bank and they have been here for more than three hours”, he added.
Meanwhile, Fresh facts have emerged about Friday’s robbery attack on several commercial banks in Otukpo town, Otukpo LGA.
The incident left residents of the city astounded.
“We haven’t seen one of these in Otukpo for a very long time,” said a resident of the town on Friday night.
It was learnt that the daredevil bank robbers, armed with assault rifles and other dangerous weapons, carried out a coordinated strike on four banks in Otukpo, resulting in the deaths of seven individuals, including three police officers.
An eyewitness, who wished to remain anonymous, reported that the robbers stormed the banks at around 4:30 pm in two Hilux vehicles and another smaller car, conducting the robbery that lasted about an hour.
He said the robber shot and killed police officers and a councillor, who was conducting business in one of the ill-fated banks.
According to another eyewitness, the robbers had attacked the Otukpo Police Station before their operation, firing indiscriminately and disarming all the policemen before proceeding with the robbery.
The incident caused panic in the traditional headquarters of the Idoma nation, as residents, especially traders, were seen fleeing to safety.
When contacted to confirm the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Catherine Anene, stated, “I have not been able to speak with the DPO or any of the officers there, but I am aware that there was an incident.”
A policewoman identified as Emmanuella Ankyov, was among seven people killed during the robbery incident in Otukpo area of Benue State.
The suspected robbers were said to have stormed the Otukpo town at about 3:10 pm and operated for more than one hour.
The location of the banks which is very close to the major market in Otukpo, caused a huge stir in the town as traders were seen running for their lives.
Meanwhile, friends, family members and colleagues have taken to Facebook to mourn the deceased officer.
Govt should allow Nigerians to buy AK-47 – Gov Radda
Similarly, Katsina State Governor, Dikko Umaru Radda, wants the Federal Government to allow individuals to buy and own weapons such as AK-47 rifles and RPGs for self-defence.
The governor, who spoke on Friday during a media chat in Abuja, argued that if the bandits wreaking havoc across the country could have access to the market to purchase weapons, individuals should be allowed to own theirs.
According to him: “If a bandit can go to the market and buy AK-47, RPG, and all of those weapons, what about the people that want to protect themselves? They, too, should be equally allowed to do so.