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Soldiers arrest seven suspects over killing of 13 Benue indigenes

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Bandits kill one, kidnap former commissioner’s children in Zamfara
Masari decries information gap between monarchs, security

Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) have arrested seven persons in connection with the killing of over 13 persons in Ukpogo Community of Edikwu district in Apa Council of Benue State.

OPWS covers Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara states.

Locals said the suspects, who were bearing sophisticated weapons, were arrested following a tip-off.

Suspected armed militia had on August 10, 2020, invaded Ukpogo and killed about 13 persons, injured many and destroyed properties following a protracted chieftaincy dispute in the community.

A survivor of the bloody attack said under anonymity that he sighted one of the attackers in the community and quickly informed the troops deployed to the area to maintain peace.

Another source said that he was able to identify one of the attackers escaping to Amoke district in Apa.

When contacted, the Commander of OPWS, Maj-Gen. Adeyemi Yekini, refused to comment on the arrest, but referred newsmen to the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Information Department.

MEANWHILE, Zamfara State police command has confirmed the kidnap of four biological children of former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Bello Gamji, in the early hours of Tuesday.

The Guardian was reliably informed that the kidnappers instantly killed a neighbour, who attempted to rescue the children.A witness said the commissioner’s security guard was also taken along with the children.

Gamji told newsmen that the kidnappers stormed his residence in the early hours of Tuesday while he was away to the state capital, Gusau.

He added the bandits fired many shots into the house and hit his neighbour who rushed to save the children.

Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Bakura Council, Garba Mahuta, said some security operatives had already visited the house for preliminary investigation.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Shehu Mohammed, said the command was aware of the kidnap incident.

IN another vein, Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari has faulted the information gap between traditional rulers and security operatives, which thwarts government’s efforts at tackling insecurity in the country.

According to Masari, the gap needs to be bridged to curb banditry and other nefarious activities.

The governor spoke yesterday while hosting the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, in his office. He added that traditional rulers, security and government needed to work closely to guarantee protection of residents who provide information on criminals.

The emir sympathised with the governor over the state’s security challenges and commended efforts at arresting the situation.


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Adeyemi YekiniOPWS
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