Remains of many of the about 50 officers killed in an ambush by armed bandits in Zamfara on November 29 are yet to be retrieved four days after the incident.
The Force Headquarters has declined to provide details of the killing of the officers even as immediate concerns amongst the family members, who spoke with Premium Times about the evacuation of the bodies of their loved ones and colleagues has continued to heighten.
“The bodies are already decomposing because we have no capacity to enter the bush to recover them,” a police officer who pleaded absolute anonymity told Premium Times from Zamfara yesterday afternoon.
“We know they are over 50 who were killed, but those finding it difficult to move because they were seriously wounded could be still rescued,” he said.
Police’s head of operations, Habila Joshak, who was dispatched to oversee police security arrangement following the ambush last Thursday, had reportedly made attempts to land in the communities with a helicopter, but reportedly went back to Gusau, the state capital, after the bandits opened live rounds.
Even Nigerian soldiers are not able to enter the hideouts of the bandits now. We heard they want to contact the Nigerian Air Force to see whether they could carry out airstrikes to neutralise the bandits and clear paths for evacuation team,” the officer said under anonymity because he could be sanctioned for providing unauthorised information to the media.
Police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, in a statement Friday afternoon said officers repelled the ambush, killing 104 bandits in the process.
He also said 50 hideouts used by the bandits were razed by officers, and stolen cattle and sheep were recovered.
Mr Moshood said the team only lost one officer in the pre-dusk attack in Birnin Mogaji, Zurmi local government area, and peace had since returned to the communities following the massive losses inflicted on the armed cattle-rustling syndicate.