By Sanni Onogu, Okene /The Nation
The two–Yahaya Karaku (former Chairman, Okene Local Government Council) and Abubakar Zubair Adagu (former chairman, Okehi Local Government Council)–are among those being interrogated by the police over the soldiers’ killing.
Gunmen stormed the Okene Local Government secretariat on the fateful day and opened fire, killing the two soldiers in the process, just 24 hours after terrorists invaded Deeper Christian Life Bible Church in the town, killing 20 worshippers.
Karaku and Adagu were appointed by Governor Idris Wada as Special Advisers without portfolio on July 26.
The incumbent boss of Okene Local Government, Mr Salihu Ogembe, was believed to be the target of the attack. Ogembe escaped death by a whisker.
Several other politicians from Okene are also being held by the police, but their names were not immediately available.
The suspects have been moved to Abuja.
Ogembe, in a text message to our reporter yesterday, confirmed that he was in the office when the gunmen opened fire on the secretariat.
He, however, said he was not sure of their mission.
He said: “Yes, I was in the office but not sure of their mission. God is in control.”
It was gathered that the Monday attack on the Deeper Life Church might have been a smokescreen to divert the attention of the military men from the city centre where the council secretariat is located.
According to one source, a security alert had gone round all the banks in the town on Monday before the attack on Deeper Life Bible Church. They were then advised to beef up security around their premises.
The Joint Task Force (JTF) also deployed its members to the city centre to check the threat.
One source said this appeared to have been done to deceive the security agents because, according to him: “Immediately that attack (on Deeper Life Church ) was reported, all the security agents, who hitherto were at the city centre, moved to the Federal College of Education area where the incident took place.
“But the two soldiers who died in the attack were sent to the council secretariat, following a distress call by an official of the council before the gunmen came.
“This may also explain why Boko Haram has not claimed responsibility for the killings.”
Soldiers yesterday ransacked all the markets in Okene township.
The few traders who had displayed their wares took to their heels when the soldiers who were patrolling the town started shooting sporadically into the air.
An eyewitness stated that when the soldiers got to the main market, they alighted from their trucks and started overturning market tables and the wares displayed on them.
Food items like palm oil, rice, beans, garri, meat and cassava flour littered the market. A similar action was allegedly carried out by the soldiers at Ogamnana Market.
Economic activities in the town remained paralysed yesterday.
Banks are closed; the sick cannot access treatment at the hospitals while the Okene, Adavi and Ohehi local government secretariats remained shut.
Story culled from The Nation