Two Kogi Local Govt Chairmen Kidnapped, 3 cops Killed

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By Sam Egwu, Lokoja
Unidentified gunmen yesterday stormed a hotel in Kabba, Kogi State, and kidnapped two local government area chairmen while also shooting dead three policemen.

Mr. Ropo Asala of Yagba West LGA and Mr. Ernest Abbah of Igalamela LGA were abducted at the Optimum Hotel Kabba, where chairmen of the state's local governments held a monthly meeting, the state's Acting Police Commissioner Abdullahi Magaji told newsmen in Lokoja.

Three other persons were critically injured and admitted at a hospital in Kabba for treatment, Chairman of Ankpa Local Government Mr Vincent Baba told newsmen.

Baba said their meeting ended very late on Wednesday, resulting to many of the chairmen sleeping over in the town.

“We were getting ready to leave our hotel rooms when the abductors came at about 7 am,” he said. “The very young abductors invaded the hotel in two police vans, wielding dangerous weapons and used a public address system to announce their presence. The abductors told us that they were aware of our presence in the hotel and ordered us to file out in our own interest.”

He said although many of the chairmen immediately returned to their hotel rooms, luck ran out on Abbah and Asala, who were taken away by the gunmen.

Baba, who emerged from an emergency security meeting between his colleagues and Governor Ibrahim Idris yesterday, said that the gunmen might have also abducted other people, on their way. He said he sighted a man dressed like a lawyer and another woman in the abductors' vehicle.

Baba said that the three dead policemen, who were attached to the chairmen, were killed in a gun battle in their effort to rescue their principals.

Chairman of the forum of chairmen of the 21 local governments in the state, Mr. Yabaji Bologi, also confirmed the incident to newsmen.

After the kidnapping incident, the gunmen abandoned a Hilux jeep with an AK 47 rifle of their dead colleague and another car, the acting police commissioner for Kogi State said.

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