The Benue State Police Command has denied knowledge of the current gang fight between two rival groups that has reportedly claimed over 10 lives in the state.
The clash has been between the “Chain Gang” and “Full Fire” groups in the Ukum Local Government of Benue.
Onground reports revealed the fight already lasted over five days, claiming several casualties with resultant effects on the selected communities.
The gang war further took a new dimension on Monday when about 10 passengers were reportedly murdered in the Ukum local government area of the state.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Security and Internal Affairs, Joseph Har, who spoke on the attack, confirmed the recent attack was between two gangs in the affected local government. However, he disclosed plans by the state government to arrest the situation and return the affected communities to normalcy.
“It is a rival gang fight and not a communal crisis,” Har said. “But I can assure you that the government is adopting measures, including using the carrot and stick approach to ensure the boys are persuaded to leave their hiding and embrace peace.”
But the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Catherine Anene, told The WikkiTimes on Wednesday that the command was unaware of the incident. Speaking in a phone interview with this reporter, she said the Command was yet to receive any information on the clash, as she was out of town.
“The command doesn’t have that information; we are unaware of such incidents in the state. Though I’m in training somewhere, I will confirm if such an incident has happened,” she said.
A source in the area earlier told the Vanguard that one of the gangs invaded the community on Monday evening and opened fire on the villagers. The source noted that the most affected were people boarding tricycle and commercial motorcycle users.
The source explained that the attacker opened fire on the harmless citizens, killing not less than ten people while several others were injured in the process.
“The spot where the attack and killings happened on Monday evening was Ukoosaa-Atam, which is about one kilometer from Ayati town headquarters of Borikyo Council Ward of Ukum LGA.
“The armed men, who everyone suspected was part of the ongoing gang fight in Ukum, came on a Bajaj motorcycle to the village and opened fire on passengers of Keke and commercial motorcycles, killing 10 persons while others sustained injuries.”
“This is one among the several attacks that have been going on in Ukum communities recently, and people are now forced to flee their homes for fear of being killed.”