From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
A chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State, Bernard Ochepa, yesterday, escaped assassination attempt by unknown gunmen.
Ochepa it should be recalled, bought form to contest the party chairmanship position at the just concluded State congress, but it was not issued to him thereby enabling the incumbent Abba Yaro to return unopposed.
He told our reporter that the gunmen broke into his house located along Modern Market road in Makurdi, at about 5am and headed straight to his bedroom unfortunately, he was not around.
According to him, “I and my wife have been living in a deep fear ever since l contested the position of the state chairman of APC during the last Congress because I know there was a problem and a plot to assassinate me, having insisted on contesting the election which some members of the party considered was against their interest”.
“It was about 5am this morning that the hired assailants came into my compound. l can’t explain how they got into my bedroom. They met my family members but didn’t hurt anyone of them. Fortunately, my wife and l were already out of the house because I had privileged information of the incident. I have lived in this house for the past twenty years and l have never recorded such incident, not even a case of armed robbery attack.
“What saved me was that, a day before the incident, l got a hint at about 9pm, that some people are planning to attack me, l immediately left the house with my wife and truly they came this morning but could not succeed”.
“When they came and discovered that l was not in the house, they made away with two flat screen Television sets and other valuables to create a different impression that it was just mere theft. They left a red cloth with a message on it saying that they will still come back to carry out their dastardly act.
“I strongly believe that this attack is coming from my political enemies who thought l have stepped on their toes in the state”, he said.
As at the time of filing this report, the former House of Representatives member said that he is yet to make formal report to the police, but added that he has contacted police and Civil Defense authorities to provide protection in and around his house to avert further attempt on his life.
Ochepa however called on the police and other relevant security agencies in the state to investigate the attempt on his life, with a view to arresting and prosecuting the perpetrators.
Efforts to speak with the police authority proved abortive as the State Commissioner of police and the Command spokesperson could not respond to several calls and text messages sent to their phones.