The Benue State police command has warned criminal elements in Benue state and by extension, Idomaland to steer clear as the command is determined to flush out all elements involved in criminal activities in the state.
Speaking exclusively to AFRIPOST on Thursday, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Tajudeen Abass said his men have been mobilized to hotbeds in Idomaland in order to bring to end the issue of kidnapping for ransom and other related activities.
Reacting to a kidnapping incident in Owukpa on Thursday when a logger, Popular, was abducted by suspected kidnappers, the Commissioner said his men, in collaboration with some local vigilantes, had apprehended two suspected kidnappers in the area and were still on the trail of the others who are currently at large.
The Commissioner appealed to stakeholders to share intelligence with the police, assuring that with such intelligence sharing, the police can be at its best.
He called on all well-meaning individuals in the state to report criminal activities to the police on time.
Abbas revealed that the Orokam/Owukpa Divisioner Police Officer, DPO, S.P Dutse has been charged to flush out all criminal elements within his jurisdiction, stating that such can be possible with the collaboration and support of stakeholders.
Benue state government reacts to Owukpa kidnappings
Meanwhile, the Benue state government has expressed worries over the activities of criminals in Owukpa and other areas in Benue state.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Nathaniel Ikyur, while speaking with AFRIPOST said despite the alarm by the State Governor, Samuel Ortom on the activities of criminals in the state, not so much has been done by the federal government.
He, however, said that the Security Adviser to the Governor had been alerted and action will be taken against herdsmen and other criminal elements terrorizing the people of Owukpa.
Community leader, Abutu speaks
Meanwhile, the Owukpa community leader, Chief Matthias Abutu has called on Owukpa community to be vigilant and make effort to protect themselves even as the community works with relevant authorities to flush out criminals from Owukpa district. He cautioned the people against taking the laws into their hands.
Chief Abutu said: “I urge all to be security conscious, but we should not take the laws into our hands. Ada’Ogbadibo is making efforts to draw the attention of the appropriate security agencies to come to Owukpa but we have to compliment their efforts even when they respond.”
Kidnap in catholic church
Recall that the Owukpa community has recently come under attack by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers. Only recently, the cook of the Revd Father at St. Mary’s Parish Aho-Ogbo was kidnapped. The cook simply identified as Mary was released after an undisclosed amount was paid as ransom.
Similarly, a businessman, Mr Joseph Agbara escaped death at the whisker along Ukwo-Ai-Ifam road after some armed men suspected to be Fulani herdsmen attempted to kidnap him while he was driving through the area. His vehicle was riddled with bullets when he made effort to escape from the dare-devil kidnappers.
Two vigilatees killed
AFRIPOST gathered that two suspected kidnappers were nabbed on Thursday, while two local vigilantes lost their lives during the raid of the forest.
It all started when a logger simply identified as ‘Popular’ went to the forest to check those working for him. He was kidnapped and while being taken deep into the forest, some local vigilantes in collaboration with the police and the army invaded the area and rescued him.
Two vigilantes were, however, gunned down during the combing of the forest area. One of the victims was the Honourable Councillor representing Orokam ward 3.