Nigeria: Recovery of Police Officers’ Corpses Reveals Grim Reality of Herdsmen Violence in Delta Community

Nigeria: Recovery of Police Officers’ Corpses Reveals Grim Reality of Herdsmen Violence in Delta Community

By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria

In a disturbing turn of events, the corpses of several police officers who were deployed to rescue missing colleagues in Ohoror community, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, have been recovered by a joint operation comprising security forces and local vigilantes.

The tragic incident unfolded on January 24, 2024, when three police officers responded to a distress call from Moses Progress, who reported being robbed by suspected herdsmen while performing a ritual near a bridge in Ohoror community. These officers, all Inspectors, ventured into the area but never returned.

The discovery of their bodies, along with those of several others who had gone missing, sheds light on the escalating violence perpetrated by suspected Fulani herdsmen in the region. Despite initial silence from Delta State police authorities regarding the incident, the recovery of the officers’ corpses confirms the grim reality of the situation.

The recovery operation, conducted over two days, involved extensive searches of the forested areas where the officers were last seen. Operational bases belonging to the suspected herdsmen were reportedly destroyed during the operation, underscoring the severity of the conflict between law enforcement and criminal elements in the region.

According to a senior security source within the Delta State Police Command, the recovered corpses have been deposited at the Mariere Central Hospital morgue in Ughelli. The process of documenting and identifying the bodies was undertaken with the assistance of local vigilante members, and it reportedly involved the presence of government officials, although their exact role remains unconfirmed.

While the recovery of the officers’ bodies brings closure to their families and colleagues, questions linger regarding the circumstances surrounding their deaths and the broader implications of herdsmen violence in the region. Concerns about the safety and security of law enforcement personnel, as well as the effectiveness of measures to address the root causes of conflict between herders and local communities, are paramount.

As investigations into the incident continue, there is a pressing need for transparency, accountability, and decisive action to ensure justice for the fallen officers and prevent further bloodshed. The Delta State government, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, must prioritize efforts to address the underlying issues fueling herdsmen violence and promote lasting peace and security in affected communities.

The recovery of the officers’ corpses serves as a stark reminder of the dangers faced by law enforcement personnel in the line of duty and the urgent need for comprehensive strategies to address the root causes of conflict and violence in Delta State and beyond.

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