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Benue people still under herders attacks, killings, says Rep member

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Representaticve of Kwande/Ushongo Federal constituency of Benue State, Bob Tyough, has raised the alarm that herdsmen are still attacking and killing his people on daily bases.

In a statement made available to The Guardian, he said the reaction became necessary to counter claims of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) that it had ended killings in Benue.

His words, “Just yesterday, four persons were killed and many others injured at Waya Community in Jato-Aka, Kwande Council Area.

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“While I am not taking anything away from the commitment and gallantry of the military in the state, particularly troops of OPWS, I object to the claim that the troops have ended insecurity and flushed out all criminals from the state.

“I wish the Commander had seen Governor Samuel Ortom’s call as a voice of support. He and his team have no doubt done a commendable job, but they are also aware that their capacity needs to be strengthened to enable them to do better.”

On the OPWS Commander’s assertion that his “job does not include arresting cows on the streets,” Tyough said such a statement was misleading, wondering if the OPWS had another mandate.

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Tyough lamented that Kwande Council Area has only 35 police personnel and questioned how 35 policemen could guarantee safety of lives and property in a whole local government area.

“I am making efforts to get more police personnel deployed to my constituency. I also request that the mobile police units be taken to Kwande/Ushongo Federal constituency to improve security in the area,” he added.

However, the Police in Benue State have confirmed the attack in Moon District of Keane Council Area, saying, “One male and two female corpses were recovered as unknown gunmen suspected to be herders invaded and shot sporadically at persons on the river bank.

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Meanwhile, Director of Communications, Otukpo Catholic Diocese in Benue State, Reverend Father John Okopopu said the suspected gunmen that abducted Reverend Father David Echioda have released him, saying he (Echioda) was not their target.

Okopopu said Echioda was released at 6.30am yesterday after he was abducted at Alan-Akpa, while returning from a missionary work.

He also explained that the abductors told the victim that they mistook him for a top politician, who they had information was going to ply the route, adding that the priest was returning to Otukpo when he ran into the six gunmen, who were armed with sophisticated weapons.

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