Seventeen [17] bandits who kidnapped 23 people arrested in joint Police, Military operations

A combined team of security agencies in a Military style operation last weekend apprehended seventeen bandits, who were responsible for the kidnap of 23 persons of the Jukun stock along the Takum/Wukari road.

The bandits, who are allegedly members of the Late Terwase Akwaza aka Gana had kidnapped twenty three persons, mostly of the Jukun stock from Taraba state, obstenibly to sow a seed of discord between the Tiv and Jukuns and the crisis in the area.

Paul Hembah, Special Adviser on Security to Governor Samuel Ortom who disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Makurdi on Monday, however said, four of the kidnapped persons were still missing and the forces were still searching for them.

He said, “On the 27th of January, 2021, some criminal elements linked to the Late Terwase Akwaza aka Gana kidnapped twenty three persons along Wukari/Takum road.

“The aim of this kidnap incident by the bandits was probably to trigger a crisis between the Tiv and Jukun people along that axis. As a result, His Excellency the governor of Benue state directed all the security agencies to swing into action and rescue the victims.

“Consequently, the combined team of troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), 93 battalion, Takum, 72 Special Forces battalion, Makurdi and Mobile policemen from Takum, swung into action; raided suspected hideouts, where the criminals were hiding the victims and these included settlements such as Ajon, Igbudu and Tor-Donga

“The team was able to rescue nineteen out of the twenty three abducted victims and are still in search of the remaining four.”

The Special Adviser further stated that “The gallant troops were able to arrest seventeen bandits in connection to the kidnap incident, during the raid operations, which took place in different parts of Katsina-Ala LGA

“The criminals are currently being profiled by the operatives of the DSS at the 93 battalion in Takum.

“Remember that His Excellency has vowed that he will not surrender the state to bandits and criminals, so wherever they are and however they are operating, we will go after them, because it’s the governor’s determination to rid the state of criminality and we will not stop until every criminal is smoked out of Benue state completely.”, he stressed.

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