Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The peace of Gboko and Adikp, headquarters of Gboko and Kwande Local Government Areas of Benue State was, yesterday, disturbed, following protest by some youths over the suspension of the council chairmen.
The House of Assembly had approved the suspension of six chairmen and two vice chairmen of local government councils in the state for three months, over alleged gross misconduct, misappropriation of funds and abuse of office.
Following the development, Governor Samuel Ortom inaugurated acting council chairmen for the affected councils, with a charge to them to desist from sharing funds meant for development of their councils to political elders.
However, as the ceremony was going on, yesterday, at the Government House, Makurdi, news filtered in that angry youths suspected to be supporters of the suspended chairman of Gboko, Mrs. Becky Orpin, went on rampage.
During the melee, some houses, including resident of the Executive Chairman of Benue Internal Revenue Service (BIRS), Terzungwe Atser, vehicles, motorcycles, shops, bill boards and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) campaign materials were allegedly vandalised, while some persons were allegedly injured in the fracas that ensued.
It was gathered that shops, especially those around the J S Tarka Way in Gboko, quickly closed, while parents, who had initially dropped off their wards in schools, rushed to pick them. Soon, bonfires were set on major roads, while youths, comprising both males and females, bored placards and chanted songs, while insisting there would be no peace in Gboko, unless the suspended council chairman is reinstated.
Barely one hour after the Gboko protest, some youths in Adikpo town, also protested the suspension of the council boss, Terdoo Kenti.
Reacting to the development, governor Ortom, who condemned the actions of the youths, said his administration will not be deterred, but continue to do the right thing so long as it is in line with the law.