Published On: Wed, Jul 17th, 2019

Military vows to flush bandits out of Benue

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From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

Force Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS, Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini has said that his men will leave no stone unturned until all criminal elements in Benue State are totally flushed out
Maj. Yekini who said this yesterday during an interaction with journalists in Makurdi, boosted that his troops have successfully caged the Benue most wanted militia leader, Terwase Akwaza alias ‘Gana’ and dismantled all illegal checkpoints manned by his men.
He further disclosed that the troops have equally arrested 23 of Gana’s gang members who operate illegal checkpoints along the Kastina-Ala, Gbishe, Takun axis of Benue and Taraba States.
According to him, the onslaught against Gana by troops of OPWS has led to the stabilization of the Katsina-Ala, Gbishe, Taken area which has now made vehicular movement along that axis possible.
“We have stabilized Kastina-Ala, Gbishe, Takum axis as a result of our onslaught against Gana which was not the case in the past. There is now normal vehicular movement along that axis. We have also extended onslaught on criminal elements along that axis and all known kidnap hideouts along that axis have also been destroyed.
“We have successfully caged Gana and dismantled all illegal checkpoints manned by his men through which they extort money from innocent citizens.
“The war against him(Gana) is not just on military fronts alone but also along the economic line because we believe that if he doesn’t have money from kidnapping and extortion, he won’t be able to buy guns and other weapons to carry out his nefarious acts again. 23 of his men were also arrested in recent times and handed over to the police for prosecution”, Yekini stated.
Speaking on the recent crisis in Agatu local government area of the state, the force Commander of the military spike disclosed that troops have been deployed to Agatu to ensure peace and prevent a resurgence of violence in the area.
It could be recalled that a few weeks ago, a communal clash between two Agatu communities claimed the lives of no fewer than 35 villagers in Okokolo community in a Sunday morning attack allegedly carried out by youths of Abugbe community.
He said: “So far, we have initiated a peaceful dialogue through the state government on the need to eschew violence in Agatu. We have also organized a deployment of OPWS force in Agatu to ensure peaceful relations and prevent resurgence of violence and ensure that the fishpond in contention is now open to both communities to use. “

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