Voice of America

The military said certain powerful forces in Benue were responsible for the recent attacks on communities in the state.

Maj-Gen Adeyemi Yekini, the Force Commander, Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), made the statement at a press briefing on Sunday in Makurdi.

Yekini also said such individuals were instigating violence as could be seen in the recent attacks on communities preceding major elections in the country.

”It is obvious that some forces are instigating violence in Benue; it is not a coincidence that there was an attack on Agatu community a week to the presidential election and now there is another attack on Gwer West a week to the governorship election.”

It was gathered that the OPWS was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018 to tackle cases of armed banditry on communities in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states.

The force commander said the military outfit had intensified operations along Loko-Agatu, Kwande and other border communities in Benue to prevent reoccurrence of the attacks.

He condemned the preference to cattle over human lives by those who retaliated because of cattle theft.

Flt Officer Mohammed Abubakar, the Sector Commander, OPWS in Gwer West Local Government Area, said some people were using military uniforms to rustle cattle.

”Those people who did this are suspected to be Livestock Guards, according to our local sources,” he said.

Abubakar said seven corpses had already been recovered.

According to him, the council chairman of Gwer West, Mr Francis Ayaga, and the Divisional Police Officer of the local government area have already submitted seven names of the suspects to him.

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