Protest in Benue community over killings

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Inhabitants of Gbagir settlement, a suburb of Zakibiam in Ukum local Government area in Benue state have staged a peaceful protest over insecurity in the area.

The protest followed reported rampant incidents of kidnappings and killings, which has become recurrent decimals in the community.

Gbagir is a farming settlement located one- hour drive from Zakibaim town, the headquarters of Ukum local Government area in Benue north east senatorial district.
Since four years, local militias have held the residents in the area hostage through criminal activities on daily basis, especially kidnapping, rape, killing and armed robbery.

The kidnap and murder of 47- year- old Igbo woman Mrs. Rita Arinze, sparked off protest over the weekend.

The Nation investigation revealed Mrs. Arinze , a trader based in Gbagir, was abducted by gunmen on May 30 in Gbagir town after she alighted from a public transport and was on her way home around about 5:30pm .

Her husband, Jerome Arinze, who is also a trader in Gbagir , told The Nation that the abductors of his wife contacted him on phone and demanded for N10m.
Jerome, who was in tears throughout the interview with our correspondent, said he offered the kidnappers N100, 000 but they immediately switched off their phone and did not contact him again .

On June 4, he got a call that the body of his wife has been found along Ugba- Zakibiam road.

Jerome told The Nation that he rushed to the scene and found his wife who was brutally murdered and her body dumped by road side.

Jerome, who said it was difficult to believe that her wife was dead, called on security agencies to fish out the killers of his wife and bring them to justice.

The protesters marched through major places in Gbagir with green leaves and sang songs, calling on elders in the area to intervene in the worsening security situation

A human rights lawyer, Barrister Emmanuel Nda Tsobaza, has appealed to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to set up a special anti- robbery squad to curb activities of armed robbery and kidnapping in Ukum and Benue at large .
Tsobaza, in a letter to the IGP, noted that business and commercial activities have been crippled in the area because of insecurity occasion by kidnappings and armed robbery.

The letter copied to various security agencies and command was obtained exclusively by The Nation.
He also appealed to the police to investigate the brutal killing of Mrs. Arinze by her abductors.

Police spokesperson Kate Anene, a DSP, told The Nation that already the Benue Police commissioner of Police has deployed a special anti- kidnapping squad code named: Puff Adder to smoke out the hoodlums.

The Nation

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