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Police Nab Eighteen Over Violent Protest In Benue

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Police Nab Eighteen Over Violent Protest In Benue

The Benue State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of 18 suspects in connection with the violent protest that erupted Wednesday in Sankera, Ukum Local Government Area, LGA, of the state over armed bandits attacks in the area.

The Command also disclosed that the protesters had attempted to invade the Ukum Police Division headquarters but were repelled by the officers on guard.

Recall that hundreds of irate youths had poured into the streets of Sankera following Tuesday night’s attack on Ayati community in Borikyo Council Ward of the LGA by suspected armed bandits that claimed several lives and left scores injured.

They reportedly stormed the official residence of the Local Government Caretaker Chairman with the corpses of the dead, took over the Sankera -Ayati-Sai road and made bonfire on the highway in protest and eventually went violent.

They razed several government and personal properties in the town including the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, office, Local Government Secretariat, Legislative building, personal properties of the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Paul Biam among others.

The development compelled the state government to impose an initial 24 hours curfew on the LGA to forestall further escalation of the crisis.

The State Police Command in a statement on the incident issued Thursday by its Public Relations Officer, Superintendent, SP, Catherine Anene explained that on Wednesday “information was received from Ukum Police Division that suspected bandits had attacked a village in Ayati community of Ukum LGA where six persons were killed. Police teams were immediately deployed to prevent further attacks.

“It is worthy of note that Ukum is a boundary area between Benue and Taraba states which has been a turbulent area in the state. This turbulence increased after the death of the dreaded popular Gana and Ukum has attracted the highest deployment of security agents in the state.

“The deployment is made to curtail activities of bandits that are found in three LGAs; Ukum, Logo and Kastina-Ala collectively called Sankera axis.

“At about 8am violent protesters in hundreds began a protest obviously sponsored by criminals to unleash mayhem on the people and destabilise security network that has prevented them from operating freely in the area especially with recent successful operations that dislodged several bandit camps in the last two months.

“During this violent protest, personal and government properties were destroyed. These hoodlums also made an attempt to invade Ukum Police Division but were repelled by officers on guard duty.

The Commissioner of Police, Benue state Command, Mr. Hassan Yabanet has since moved to the area with tactical teams and heads of other security agents to forestall further breakdown of law and order.

“18 suspects have so far been arrested and investigation is ongoing.”

Credit: Vangaurd

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