A popular vigilante commander, Alhassan Alhassan, has been shot dead in a gun battle with kidnappers inside a forest in Tanahu community, Gegu-Beki chiefdom in Kogi Local Government Area of Kogi State.
A member of the vigilante, who was part of the operation but preferred anonymity, said the incident happened on Tuesday around 11:23 am.
He said the late vigilante commander led his boys into a forest to face the kidnappers who have been terrorising villagers at neighbouring Aduho and Tanahu communities in the area.
He said the kidnappers laid an ambush immediately they sighted the vigilante coming into the forest and started shooting sporadically.
“Even while they were shooting, he and his boys were still exchanging bullets with them until one of the kidnappers’ bullets later got him at abdomen,” he said
He said the commander immediately fell to the ground when a bullet hit him, even as he said some of the kidnappers escaped with bullets.
He said the remains of the deceased had been conveyed to his Toto home in Nasarawa State and buried according to Islamic rites.
It was gathered that the renowned late vigilante commander sometimes led operations between Toto-Umaisha road in Nasarawa State to engage kidnappers terrorising travellers along the axis.
The Onyiwo of Gegu-Beki Chiefdom, Alhaji Mohmmed Abba Suleiman, confirmed the incident to our reporter through the telephone, saying he was bereaved over the vigilante commander’s death.
The spokesman of Kogi State Police Command, CSP Williams Ovye Aya, did not pick calls or reply to a text message sent to his phone.