The House of Representatives issued a surprising plea to police authorities Thursday, urging the force to let go of any plan to retaliate against the killing of more than 30 of its personnel by a suspected cult group in Nasarawa State.

Lawmakers condemned the shocking attack on the personnel who were ambushed on a mission to dislodge the group, but urged restraint and pledged to institute a team to reach out to the spouses of the slain officers.

Wives of policemen took to the streets on Thursday to protest the murder, barricading the Akwanga-Lafia Federal Highway in Nasarawa State.

Raising the matter for urgent consideration, the lawmaker representing the area in the House, Kigbu Haruna (PDP), said that within six months, the state has lost many people as a result of similar clashes.
Mr. Haruna urged the Federal and Nasarawa State governments to dialogue with the group involved in the killings instead of retaliating.

“We cannot condone it anymore as the crisis if not checked will stretch to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja,” Mr. Haruna warned.

Lawmakers delivered stern condemnation of the killings, many questioning whether it was now approved for Nigerian citizens to bear arms.

Ahmed Idris (ACN, Plateau) called for immediate action to be taken by the Federal Government to stop the killings in not just Nasarawa state but Nigeria at large.

There are claims as many as 90 security officials – far more than the figure officially released by the police- may have been killed in the attack. Reports say some of those killed belonged to the State Security Service and the Civil Defence Corp.

The Police Commissioner in the state, Abayomi Akeremale, on Thursday told journalists that the bodies of 30 officers had been recovered while some were missing. Nine police patrol vehicles were also burnt, he said, adding that investigation was on and no arrests had been made.

“We believe that members of the group are still in the bush around the area and we would do all we can to smoke them out,” the commissioner of police told the News Agency of Nigeria.

One of the dead is said to be an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Momoh. Police did not confirm that but said he was missing.

The Directorate of State Security also said it has deployed a search and rescue team to determine fatalities of its operatives involved in the operation.

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