Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Benue State Police Commissioner, Mr. Ene Okon, has lamented that the increasing spate at which politicians were arming thugs was causing proliferation of arms in the state ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The police boss stated this when he played host to leaders of the Socio cultural groups of the state, including the Mdzough U Tiv, Ochetoha K’ Idoma, (OKI) and the Omi Ny’ Igede, (ONI) stated that the command was fully aware of the plot by some desperate politicians to cause mayhem in the state during the elections.
He stressed the need for the tribal leaders to sensitise the politicians against the habit of stockpiling arms and the use of thugs to kill and maim.
“It baffles me that they have resorted to arming thugs to harass opponents and it is indeed a worrisome development and it is unacceptable to my command.
“But I have words for the masterminds of this act, I will go after the thugs and their principals.
“I am not begging them to stop but I am warning. It is either they retrieve those weapons from their thugs and hand same to the Police or we will go after the thugs and their sponsors.
“I advise that you go back and tell the political class that it would be better to have peaceful election in the state rather than stockpile weapons because the intelligence we have gathered so far clearly indicated that politicians are proliferating arms among thugs to main and kill.
“I also appeal to you the tribal leaders to go back home to your communities and talk to parents and their children especially the thugs who have decided to become cannon fodders in our society.
“We are also worried because after the elections these weapons are used for robbery and kidnap of innocent citizens so we will crackdown on those behind the dastardly act.
Earlier, in his speech, Chairman of the tribal leaders, Chief Edward Ujege, who led the delegation, lauded the Command for the manner it handled the insecurity situation in the state, especially the invasion, killings, destruction of property and displacement of the people by invading herdsmen.
“It is regrettable that this command and indeed the Police in Nigeria lost officers and men who put their lives on the line for us to enjoy relative peace as they worked day and night.
“You have played major roles, alongside your sister security agencies for us to experience the peace that we currently enjoy and we cannot thank you enough.
Ujege expressed the hope that in the coming elections politicians will play the game by the rules even as he urged the Police and other security agencies to conduct themselves in the highest professional manner that would further enhance their image and give the people confidence.”