BY HEMBADOON ORSAR, makurdi
Over 25 million naira worth of property and goods are said to have destroyed in Akpoge-Ogbilolo ward of Ado local government Area of Benue State.
This is as a result of political skirmishes made some thugs to attacked All Progressives Congress, APC executives in the area.
They staged a protest to State secretariat of the party in Makurdi demanding for justice as well as compensation for their losses.
Speaking to newsmen, chairman, APC Akpoge-Ogbilolo ward Alex Aboh accused Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development who hails from the area John Otokpa Onoja of masterminding the attack.
He claimed that the Commissioner who is infuriated that his candidate for councillor position one Emmanuel Egwurube lost during the last Council polls, organized thugs to unleash terror on him and his officials.
“Emma had boasted before the election that if he does not win,there will be violence in the area. So, on July 6, over 80 youths armed with machete and axes invaded my business centre and restaurant burning it down. They did same to my youth leader Okupa Orinya and looted his phone accessory shop. All my officials were affected even as they also left various degrees of injuries on us. Up to this moment, no arrest has been made. The State Commissioner of Police Bashir Makama said it is a political issue”, Aboh decried.
Chief Press Secretary to Deputy governor of Benue State Ede Ogaba who hails from the ward, condemned the act, describing it as ‘dastardly, capable of throwing the entire community into chaos.
Reacting to the allegation against him, Commissioner for Housing John Otokpa Onoja said it is a politically stage managed act aimed at blackmailing and tarnishing his reputation.
Onoja who denied sponsoring any persons for councillorship election in his area, alleged gang up by certain persons to smear his image
“Some persons have been working hard to ensure that am removed as Commissioner. I did not lobby for the position. Even when I was appointed, they staged a protest against my nomination. What happened is this, an unknown person went to Ebonyi State and attack a woman in her farm and the District head Chief Ede Otokpa summoned the villagers inquiring to know who was responsible for the act. For the councillorship position, Emma and Joseph are brothers. The people said anyone who will represent them most be resident of the area. I have no blood relationship with any of them. I do not have problem with anyone. I always mind my own business. As a Christian,I will be the last person to instigate any violence in my area”,Onoja stated Commenting on the issue, the State Commissioner of Police Bashir Makama said the matter has not been reported to his office.
He called on the affected victims to write a formal letter to his office, assuring that if that is done,Police will immediately commence investigation into the incident.