Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Ombatse Traditionalists: Police Killed Our Nine Members Before We Killed 95 Of Them
A man who admits to be an Ombatse traditional religionist in Nassarawa State has told SaharaReporters their group killed 95 policemen today, nearly four times the 23 the police have admitted.
Earlier, Abayomi Akeremale, the State Police Commissioner, said, "The Ombatse gunmen opened fire on our men, killing 23 and burning them," Nassarawa state police chief said, adding that 17 officers remain missing.
Akeremale said the security forces decided to arrest some Ombatse leaders after they receive reports they were embarking on forced conversions in the village of Elakyo, near Lafia, the Nassarawa capital.
Speaking through an interpreter on the phone, the traditional religionist denied shooting at the policemen, saying his groupresponded only with machetes and knives, not bullets, and only after the police had killed nine of their members.
Denying that they have been committing force conversions in mosques and churches, he said the policemen arrived in 12 patrol trucks and opened fire on his group.
“We were in our place performing our rites, when our members alerted us that police may come for our father and leader,” he said. “Suddenly that day, the armed police came with guns and we say what happened? They did not answer us but started spraying teargas on us and killed nine of our members. In return for self defence we killed 95 of them, we have no guns it was machetes that we used in defending ourselves and eventually killed them. There is nothing like gun attacks.”
On attacking mosques and churches, the sect member, first pointing out he has not been instructed to speak, denied the reports.
“We don’t do that,” he told our reporter. “Our group is serious about morality, we are against liquor and don’t harbour it, no sleeping with men and no stealing. We are on our own seeking protection for our own people, and the police just entered us.”