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Benue Youths Protest Against Killings and Insecurity, Block Road, Set Fire On LG Office in Zaki Biam

In a bold display of frustration and anger, youths in Benue State took to the streets on Wednesday to protest against the incessant killings in the Ukum Local Government Area. The protesters, numbering in their tens, blocked the Ayati-Sai road and invaded the council secretariat in Zaki Biam, the headquarters of Ukum LGA.

Triggered by Tragedy

The immediate cause of the protest was the killing of 11 people on Tuesday night by local bandits. According to a resident of Ayati village, the violent incident was the last straw for many, highlighting the ongoing security issues in the area. The resident, who wished to remain anonymous, explained:

“You know how volatile the local government has been in recent times. There is hardly a day we don’t experience killings and kidnappings in this council. Unfortunately, the state government has not shown any seriousness in tackling these daily killings.”

The resident added that after the youths recovered 11 corpses, they were overcome with anger, prompting them to block the road and storm the council secretariat, where they caused damage to property as a way to express their displeasure.

Government Response

Victor Iorzaa, the Chairman of Ukum LGA, declined to comment on the incident, stating he was not in a position to speak about it. Meanwhile, Catherine Anene, the spokesperson for the state command, confirmed the protest but mentioned she had not yet received details on the cause.

The state government also acknowledged the protest and the killings. Joseph Har, the Special Adviser to the state Governor on Internal Security, confirmed that bandits were responsible for the killings. He noted:

“Yes, they are protesting because of the killings in the area. We don’t have the details yet but bandits are responsible. They are protesting and threatening to burn down the LG Secretariat, but they are aware that the state government has dislodged these bandits.”

Har described the bandits’ actions as “the last kick of a dying horse,” explaining that recent government operations had destroyed bandit camps in Katsina-Ala. He reassured the public that the government would maintain pressure on the bandits to ensure they are completely degraded.

A Plea for Patience

Har also mentioned his communication with the youth leaders, urging them to remain patient and trust that the government would continue its efforts to address the security issues. He stated:

“I have spoken to the leader of the youths and I told them to be patient. Government is going to sustain the momentum. We will not be deterred by the killings but we will sustain the heat and pressure on them so they can be degraded completely.”

Stay tuned to Naijahotvibez for more updates on this developing story and other exclusive content.

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