The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has expressed sadness over an attack on a United States embassy convoy in Anambra State, on Tuesday, condoling with the families of those killed in the incident.
Buhari’s condolence message is contained in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, titled, ‘President Buhari saddened by killing of US Embassy Staff, Policemen and others in Plateau and Benue States.’
On Tuesday afternoon, a US convoy came under heavy fire near the town of Atani in the Ogbaru Local Government Area, killing two embassy staffers and two police officers.
The gunmen also kidnapped three persons, including two other police officers and a driver, according to the Anambra police spokesperson, Ikenga Tochukwu.
“The hoodlums murdered two of the Police Mobile Force operatives and two staff of the Consulate, and set their bodies ablaze and their vehicles,” Ikenga said, noting that the location was notorious for separatist violence.
At a White House press briefing on Tuesday, the US National Security Council spokesperson, John Kirby, confirmed the attack stating that no US citizens were killed.
Kirby said “It does look like a US convoy vehicle was attacked. What I can tell you is that no US citizens were involved and, therefore, there were no US citizens hurt.”
The US Department of State later issued a statement affirming that its diplomatic staff were “working with Nigerian security services to investigate,” the incident.
“The security of our personnel is always paramount, and we take extensive precautions when organising trips to the field,” the statement read.
Reacting to the incident, Nigeria’s President said “I was very sad hearing about the killing of the embassy staff and our policemen accompanying them.
“In this difficult time for the families of those killed, the American Embassy and the Nigeria Police Force, I extend the nation’s condolences over the very sad incident.”
Adesina also revealed that the President has equally been briefed about the tragic killing of several persons in the Bwoi District of Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State, as well that of several villagers in Adaka village in Makurdi Local Government and in the Ijaha community of Apa Local Government Area of Benue State.
The killings come barely one month after an attack on the Umogidi community of Entekpa-Adoka in Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue left over 46 people dead.
At the time, Buhari had directed the secret services, police and military commanders to enhance surveillance on every front and immediately review the security management in the affected areas.
“We share the grief of the American Embassy, the Nigeria Police Force and our communities in Plateau and Benue and remain committed to fishing out the perpetrators of the attacks and bringing them to justice.
“May God give their families the strength to bear the unfortunate losses,” said Buhari.
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