Though the bodies of the three policemen allegedly killed by soldiers of the 93 Battalion in Taraba State have been evacuated to Abuja, the residents of the Ibi Local Government have remained gripped by fear for their safety.
The man at the centre of the controversy, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume, who is believed to be a notorious kidnapper, hails from the area.
Consequently, many of the residents have continued to flee their homes following the presence of members of the police investigative team from Abuja and the massive arrest of suspected persons. The people are also afraid of possible reprisal attack by the kidnap kingpin and his gang members who are allegedly on the run.
The residents, who had earlier rolled out drums and engaged in various dancing steps when the news of the arrest of Wadume went on air, said their joy was cut short by his alleged escape.
Some of the residents, who would not want their names in print, confirmed that they were fleeing “because we have the feeling that Wadume and his colleagues who are now on the run might launch an attack on us in revenge of the humiliation he went through at the hands of the police.”
It was learnt that the three slain policemen Inspector Mark Ediale, Sergeant Dahiru Musa and Sergeant Usman Danzumi, were said to be part of the team that arrested kidnap kingpin, Evans. The deceased gallant officers also participated actively in the arrest of Umar Abdulmalik, who was the overall Boko Haram commander for the North-Central, and several of his group members.
Though the Taraba police command declined to comment on the issue, the killed security agents, who also facilitated the arrest of 22 Boko Haram terrorists responsible for the 2014 kidnap of the Chibok school girls in Borno State, were said to have duly registered their presence in the state, down to the Ibi area command where the sad incident occurred.
As at the time of filing this report, the Ibi community had almost been deserted.