Omala Massacre: Admiral Usman Jibrin [Rtd] Speaks Out, Calls on President Tinubu and the DSS for Urgent Action

by Ohepo Ohepo

Abuja, Nigeria – In a heartfelt address to The Bureau Newspaper, Admiral Usman Jibrin [Rtd], the Accord Party’s candidate for the 2023 governorship election in Kogi State, voiced a strong condemnation against the continued violence and killings attributed to herdsmen in Omala LGA. Jibrin’s comments come amidst a backdrop of escalating tension and violence that some have linked to political unrest within the state.

The Bureau Newspaper had last week, reported the killing over 50 people and burning of houses by terrorists believed to be Fulani herdsmen.

Admiral Jibrin expressed deep concern over alleged reports suggesting that elements from the previous Kogi administration might have allegedly trained Fulani, Agatu, and Igala thugs in Nasarawa State, aimed at causing mayhem in key LGAs including Omala, Ankpa. Olamaboro, and Dekina. This, he believes, could be connected to the recent surge in violence, particularly following the contentious outcomes of the recent governorship election tribunal.

Highlighting the plight of the Igala people, whom he described as the ninth largest and inherently law-abiding ethnic group in Nigeria, Jibrin stressed the dire need for the federal government to step up its role in securing the region. “It’s the government’s sole responsibility to protect lives and properties, including those in Kogi East,” he asserted. Jibrin lamented the minimal military presence in the area, pointing out that the nearest Army units to Igala land are in Enugu, Lafia (Nasarawa), and Lokoja (Kogi). He stressed that it would take the minimum of five solid hours for the military in these regions to prepare logistically to get to Igala land. By that time, the terrorists would have done deadly harm and have long gone.

In a direct appeal to President Tinubu, Jibrin disclosed that approximately 400 hectares of land had been allocated for military use between Anyigba and Iyale. However, deployment has been stalled due to paucity of funds. He urged the President to direct the Ministry of Defence to facilitate at least a battalion-strength military presence in the region, highlighting the immediate need for a visible deterrent to further violence.

Jibrin also called on the state government to aid in the military’s relocation efforts, offering logistical support where possible.

He reiterated his call for the Department of State Services (DSS) to conduct a thorough investigation into the massacre and ensure justice for the victims.

Reflecting on the historical coexistence between the Igalas and the Fulanis, Jibrin stressed that the longstanding peace between these communities underscores the tragedy of the current situation. “The Igalas have accommodated the Fulanis for a very long time. It’s crucial we restore the peace that once defined our cohabitation,” he concluded, echoing a sentiment of unity and resilience in the face of adversity.

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