By Peter Duru
Makurdi—The Commander of the Nigerian Army Engineering Corp, Maj. Gen. John Malu, narrowly escaped death yesterday morning, after unknown armed men dressed in military fatigue stormed his country home in Tse Adoor in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State.
Vanguard gathered from a family source that General Malu had gone home to visit his family, weekend, when the armed gang stormed his residence at about 6a.m. with over 30 motorbikes, shooting sporadically.
The source said they made attempt to gain entrance into Malu’s house, but were resisted by the military personnel on guard in the house.
According to the source, “the gunmen got hold of somebody in the house, who they shot on the arm and asked him to take them to where General Malu was.
“It was at that point that a gun battle ensued between the armed gang and the military personnel in the house. It lasted for close to an hour.
“Though reinforcement was called from Katsina-Ala, it was like a war situation. There was pandemonium, as people started fleeing from the village. But luckily the military personnel overpowered the armed gang.
“While the gun battle lasted, one of the armed men was shot but his group members bundled him onto one of the bikes and fled. They left behind a gun and one of their bikes.
“As we speak, Gen. Malu has returned to Makurdi, but a search for the gang members is currently ongoing.”
Contacted, General Malu, who confirmed the attack, said he was safe.
According to him, “I was in my village when armed militia gang attacked my compound. I was there to see my family.
“I slept and woke up this morning (Monday morning) only to see that they had attacked my compound, shooting everywhere. But luckily, I had travelled with my escort, so the soldiers were able to repel them.
“The shooting lasted over 30 minutes before they were overpowered and they fled leaving behind a pistol and a motorcycle, which we recovered.
“Unfortunately, while the exchange lasted, a fuel tanker driver saw what was happening and stopped his vehicle. But his assistant, who got scared, jumped out of the truck and he was caught up in the crossfire and died instantly.”
Reacting, the Commander of the 72 Special Forces Battalion in Makurdi, Lt. Col. Suleman Muhammad, said his personnel had taken over the area in search of the masterminds of the attack.