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Police arrest 18 bandit suspects for destroying government property in Benue

The Benue State Government has imposed 24 hours curfew on Ukum area, following the serious security breach.

Police arrest 18 bandit suspects for destroying government property in Benue[Guardian]

The command made the confirmation in a statement signed by the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Sewuese Anene in Makurdi.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the Ukum LGA Divisional Police Station was the only major government facility that was not burnt down during the incident.

Anene said that the Command had arrested 18 suspects so far, and an investigation was ongoing into the incident, which occurred on Wednesday.

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According to the command, suspected bandits also attacked a village in Ayati Community of Ukum, where six persons were killed, but Police teams were immediately deployed to prevent further attacks on the area.

It is worthy of note that Ukum is a boundary area between Benue and Taraba State, and which has been a turbulent area in the state.

“This turbulence increased after the death of the notorious Gana, though 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.

“At about 0800hrs, violent protesters in hundreds began a protest, obviously sponsored by criminals to unleash mayhem on the people and destabilise a security network that has prevented them from operating freely in the area, especially with recent successful operations that dislodged several bandits’ camps in the last two months.

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“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 duty,” Anene said.

The police spokesman said the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP. Hassan Yabanet had relocated to the area with tactical teams and heads of other security agencies, to forestall any further breakdown of law and order.

NAN reports that the Benue State Government has since imposed 24 hours curfew on Ukum, following the serious security breach.

Gov. Hyacinth Alia said the curfew became imperative following the wanton destruction of Government property and threats to lives in the area. Alia further explained that the curfew was to ensure that all Benue citizens and their properties were well protected.

NAN reports that some of the property destroyed or burnt include: the Council Secretariat, Legislative House, BIRS office, Government Technical Secondary School, Ukum Area Traditional Council, Divisional Agriculture Office, Chairman’s official residence, and the Local government guest house.

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Others are; the INEC office, High Court of Justice Sankera, Benue links vehicles, Road safety office, Patrol vehicles, NDE building, and many others.

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