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Again, Igbo in Benue allege threat to lives, property

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Igbo resident in parts of Benue State have again alleged that despite security measures put in place by Governor Samuel Ortom, their lives and property remain in danger.

They said since they raised the first alarm over a month ago, they have lost three persons to kidnappers and paid N277 million in ransom for 48 victims.

Speaking through their spokesman, Emmanuel Ezeadi, yesterday in Enugu, the southeasterners thanked the governor for promptly responding to their distress call. He regretted, however, that while the Ortom administration had initiated efforts to check criminal activities in the state, hoodlums had devised other means of terrorising the Igbo community, including anonymous threat calls, unsolicited nocturnal visits by hooded local gangs demanding instant payment of “protection fees” at gun points.

Giving a breakdown of the huge financial losses so far incurred by Igbo living in Gboko, Adikpo-Kwande, Ukum Zaki-Biam and Katsina-Ala councils, Ezeadi said some of the captives were murdered even after ransom had been paid.He called on the state and federal governments to increase their security surveillance around areas dominated by non-indigenes, especially Igbo businessmen and women for better protection.

In recent times, the spate of kidnappings and killings of foreigners in the state had risen to worrisome heights, prompting calls by Igbo youth movements for the recalibration of the nation’s security architecture to adequately tackle the emergent breaches in the North Central state. In a terse press statement, the coalition had threatened to resort to self-help if the attacks on its members were treated with levity.

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