Four days after the Fulani militia attacked troops in Zamfara State, the whereabouts of one sergeant Sunday Itodo, a mobile police officer is yet to be known.
This was confirmed to Veloxnews Sunday evening by a family source, Prince Yemi Itodo.
Sergeant Itodo, a native of Otukpa in Benue state, was among the 1000-man troop deployed to Zamfara by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) November 9th, to “route-out armed bandits” terrorising the state.
According to the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Jimoh Moshood, the troop was ambushed at about 1600hrs, 29th November, 2018, by “Armed Bandits at Mahanga Forest in Birnin Mogaji LGA of Zamfara State”, adding that, in the process, the troop “killed One hundred and four (104) bandits, destroyed over fifty (50) bandits hideouts in three (3) camps, recovered over five hundred (500) cattle and seventy nine (79) sheep from the bandits, but unfortunately lost a policeman during the attacks”.
But in a chat with our correspondent in Abuja, Prince Itodo said it was confirmed to the family Sunday morning by an anonymous source that Sergeant Itodo was shot during the attack and a colleague who attempted to rescue him to nearby bush path, was also shot.
The family, however, could not ascertain as at press time, if Sergeant Itodo was still alive or dead, as his cellphone has been permanently switched off.
“The source told us this morning that my brother and all other officers shot were still under hostage in the forest, as efforts by both Nigeria Police and Army to recover bodies became fruitless.
“We learnt that dozens of Nigeria Police were killed in the ambush and I’m sure the police authority has not come out clear on this, that’s why they pegged the casualty to only one.
“We were told that about 3 bodies were recovered immediately and brought to Abuja, but our brother was not amongst them. He is still being trapped in the forest with bullet wounds for days, without food, water nor medications. We pray nothing happens to him.
“We, therefore, call on the Inspector-General of Police to help us. He should please intensify to rescue our brother and hopefully alive too. We don’t want to believe he is dead. He can’t just abandon his young wife and four kids at this moment, my brother will not die, I only want the IGP to act fast”, Itodo said with tears.
Itodo said he has reached out to an Assistant Inspector-General of Police who was recently deployed to the war ravaged state to ascertain the status of his brother and possibly crave for urgent action.
“But we also want the federal government to do all within its powers to quickly salvage the situation and rescue our brother and any other person in the same predicament with him,” he added.
Sergeant Itodo, a member of Mopol 15 Kwara, according to the family, has been in the Special Mobile Force of the federal government for almost eight years and was among the foreign peace keeping mission in Somalia in 2013 and returned with award for gallantry.
He has also been part of the Special forces fighting insurgency for many years in Borno, Kaduna, Sokoto, with his latest posting in Jos, before he was deployed to Zamfara three weeks ago.