Police apprehend 18 suspects over violent protests in Benue

Thursday, July 4, 2024
 -The Benue State Police Command has arrested 18 suspects in connection with the violent protest that occurred on Wednesday in Sankera, Ukum Local Government Area, LGA. of the state over armed bandits attacks in the area.

Recall that hundreds of irate youths took to the streets of Sankera protesting over an attack by armed bandits on the Ayati community in Borikyo Council Ward of the LGA which claimed several lives and left scores injured.

They reportedly stormed the official residence of the Local Government Caretaker Chairman with the corpses of the dead, took over the Sankera-Ayati-Sai road and made a bonfire on the highway in protest and eventually went violent.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, office, Local Government Secretariat and Legislative building, were all set on fire.

There was also an attempt to invade the Ukum Police Division headquarters but the officers on guard repelled the attack.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the command’s Public Relations Officer, SPP Catherine Anene explained that police teams were deployed immediately information was received from the Ukum Police Division that suspected bandits had attacked a village in Ayati community.

She noted that Ukum is a boundary area between Benue and Taraba States which has been a turbulent area in the state.

The turbulence increased after the death of the dreaded popular Gana and Ukum and has attracted the highest deployment of security agents in the state.

The statement reads in part, “At about 8am violent protesters in hundreds began a protest obviously sponsored by criminals to unleash mayhem on the people and destabilise security network that has prevented them from operating freely in the area, especially with recent successful operations that dislodged several bandit camps in the last two months.

“During this violent protest, the onal and government properties were destroyed. These hoodlums also made an attempt to invade Ukum Police Division but were repelled by officers on guard duty.

The Commissioner of Police, Benue State Command, Hassan Yabanet has since moved to the area with tactical teams and heads of other security agents to forestall further breakdown of law and order.

“18 suspects have so far been arrested and investigation is ongoing.”

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