Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), operating in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States, on Wednesday engaged some armed criminals terrorising the people of Abako community in Katsina-Ala local government area of Benue State in a gun duel.
Force Commander of OPWS, Major General Adeyemi Yekini who disclosed this to newsmen in Makurdi on Thursday said his troops trailed the suspected criminals after they received information from the locals that some armed robbers invaded Abako community to rob and were dispossessing some people of their valuables including monies and Vehicles.
He said upon sighting the troops, the armed robbers immediately opened fire and his men responded with superior fire power, a development which resulted in the arrest of some of the criminals and recovery of huge cash and a stolen vehicle.
“We received information that armed robbers invaded Abako town in Katsina-Ala local government area of Benue state, near Takum in Taraba State, and robbed some people particularly traders.
“We went after the robbers and after heavy gun battle, we overpowered the criminals, apprehended some of them and in the process recovered a vehicle they stole from one of their victims. We also recovered from them N150,000 cash with other dangerous weapons.
Yekini disclosed further that one of the armed robbers sustained gunshot wound adding that those that were apprehended as well as recovered items have been handed over to the police authority for further necessary action.
The OPWS Commander dispelled rumour that his troops went and arrested innocent people for no just cause insisting that those who were arrested were involved in armed robbery.
“It was a case of armed robbery and not unnecessary arrests of people of Abako community as being speculated in some quarters. We have no problems with peace loving and innocent individuals who are not into crimes,” he said.
Yekini however warned criminal elements to leave the states or change their ways, stressing that his troops are adequately prepared to deal decisively with anyone found committing crimes particularly in this Yuletide season.