From Uche Nnorom Makurdi
The Benue State Police Command has dispelled rumor circulating on social media of a possible attack on Benue communities by armed herdsmen after the Ramadan fast.
A group known as Benue Journalists Forum had alleged in a statement widely circulated on social media and captioned, Group Alleges Plot By Herdsmen To Attack Benue Communities After Ramadan Fast that armed herdsmen and their sponsors are planning a major attack on the Benue Valley immediately after the Ramadan fast.
Reacting to the alarm raised by the group at a press briefing yesterday at the State Police Command, the Commissioner of Police Fatai Owoseni said the Joint Task Force comprising the Special Forces of the Nigeria Force, the military, the Department of State Services, DSS and the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps code named Operation Whirl Stroke and the Police Reinforcement deployed to the command by the Inspector -General of Police since January 2018 have been undertaking proactive measures to prevent any untoward incident.
Owoseni also stated that the efforts of the combined forces have remarkably resulted in improved security and gradual return of Internally Displaced, IDPs to their respective communities.
He assured that the security forces will continue to intensify efforts in this regard until all IDPs return to their various homes, and are able to carry out their lawful endeavors without wing attacked or having the fear of attacks by armed insurgents/bandits.
CP Fatai further averred that the command in the last two weeks arrested four suspected armed robbers, four suspected kidnappers and thirteen suspected cultists, intimating that two of the suspected armed robbers dies in a gun duel with the Police.
He said 22 more suspects have been arrested in connection with the internal communal clash between Ugambe and Mbamar in Konshisha even as a former council chairman of the area Vitalis Ayomar has been linked to sponsoring hired mercenaries from Guma to fuel the crisis and is said to be run
“The arrested suspects have been arraigned in court and items including a total of four(4) rifles made up of three (3) AK 47 and one G-3, three (3) AK 47magazines, sixteen(16) rounds of live ammunition, one Dane gun, nine(9) sets of army camouflage uniforms and three (3)Toyta cars were recovered from them. We advise the former chairman who has adamantly refused to pick his calls and have been shuttling between Aliade and Konshisha to report himself to the Police.
On security measure for the Sallah festivity, he said adequate security measures which include; increased Police visibility and Joint Motorised Patrols with sister agencies as well as covert operation have been put in place to ensure a hitch-free Eid-El-Fitr celebrations.