ALA Agu, 76, can lay claim to fame or notoriety. It depends on who is describing him. Until a few weeks back, he was unknown outside the vicinity of Lakyo, Nasarawa South Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
The chief priest of the Ombatse cult group that killed 90 policemen, 10 staff of the Department of State Services and operatives of the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps, said the State Governor, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura, ordered the invasion. The objective, according to Agu, was his elimination. “It is the governor that asked the people to come here and arrest me, cut my head and take my head to him. When they came, because they were themselves drunk, my god did not allow them to come to me and they died on the way,” Agu said through an interpreter.
Was it possible the interpreter misquoted him? Senator Solomon Ewuga (Nasarawa North), during whose visit Agu spoke, saw nothing wrong with what Agu said. Was Agu aware of the allegations against him, including killings in Asakiyo Alago, Arga Migili and Kwadere? Why did he refuse invitations from the Governor and security agencies to discuss the activities of Ombatse?
Is punishment for drunken security operatives death by a god and its followers? Why would Agu show no remorse in recounting the deaths that have thrown hundreds of families across the nation into mourning? Agu was obviously gloating over the deaths, whether he knew about them or not is no longer the issue. He knew the security operatives “died on the way”. If he was not at the scene, who told him?
A proof that Agu uttered these telling words about the killing of the security agents is that Senator Ewuga, an Eggon, like Agu, though not the senator for that side of the State, has not disputed them. There was no indication that the senator cautioned him even as journalists recorded Agu through the interpreter.
Whatever the issues were, no matter how angry Agu gets over drunken security agencies, the solutions did not lie in their death. It is important government makes this point in the most civilised manner by charging the suspects to court. Agu should be able to convince the law that he abhorred drunken security agents (many of us do) and that death should be their lot.
He could also bring his god as witness to how he was saved from being decapitated. If the law says Agu is right, we would follow the law. We suggest that the matter is settled quickly so that justice is done to Agu, his followers and the bereaved families.