By Amos Aar
ARMED bandits’ attacks on the Sankera axis of Benue State, especially in Ukum LGA have become a daily routine, with the most recent incident being the killing of ten (10) persons including a tricycle operator by armed bandits on Tuesday in Ukoosaa-Atam, near Ayati, Ukum LGA.
Last weekend, two rival cult groups; “Chain guys” and “Full Fire”, reportedly fought each other for three consecutive days; Saturday, Sunday and Monday, when over 30 persons were reportedly killed and several others injured in the same axis according to a source from Zaki-Biam, Ukum LGA.
A source from Ayati who spoke to National Record on phone but pleaded anonymity said that the victims of the incident were passengers and driver of the tricycle, also known as “keke”, while some were persons who were riding on a bike and other community members.
According to the source, unknown gunmen came and attacked a Keke killing all the passengers and the operator with one motorcycle, (Baja) also attacked killing the people on ride while several houses surrounding the area were also not spared.
He said the incident was one among several other attacks on the community and appealed to the state and federal governments to provide security as there is no single security personnel in the area.
Although the Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO) Benue State Command, Superintendent of Police (SP) Catherine Anene, did not confirm the incident, the Special Adviser to Governor Hyacinth Alia on Security and Internal Affairs, Chief Joseph Har, said the state government was aware of the killings.
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According to Har, the state government was adopting the carrot and stick approach to persuade the bandits to come out of their hideouts and be reintegrated into the normal society.