Tragedy struck in Benin, the Edo State capital, on Sunday September 24, as three policemen providing security at the Ogba Zoo were shot dead by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers.
Director and Chief Executive of the Ogba Zoo and Nature Park, Dr. Andy Ehanire, was abducted by the gunmen.
The three policemen were killed at about 6p.m., while their arms and ammunition were taken by the attackers.
It was gathered that the killing disrupted activities at the zoo as parents and children took to their heels on hearing the sporadic gunshots from the invaders.
Edo State Police spokesman, DSP Moses Nkombe, said the attackers will soon be arrested as security has been beefed up, adding that his men are on the trail of the suspects and will get them no matter how far they try to run.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, strongly condemned the attack.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Minister described the attack on one of the country’s foremost tourist destinations as a big blow to ongoing efforts to lift the tourism sector in the country.
“The success or failure of a tourism destination depends largely on a
safe and secure environment. Incidences such as the attack on the Ogba Zoo and Nature Park therefore negate the concept of tourism as well as government’s determination to develop our tourism industry as a tool for socio-economic development.
“The killing of the three policemen attached to the zoo to provide
security for fun seekers, the abduction of the zoo boss and the trauma suffered by the visitors who witnessed the attack are saddening,
condemnable and most unfortunate,” he said.
Lai Mohammed said the government will step up security in all the
tourist sites across the country in particular in order to prevent a
recurrence, while urging the abductors of Dr Ehanire to quickly
release him unharmed.
He also sent his condolences to the families of the policemen who were
killed in the attack, and prayed that God will grant repose to their