Suspected vandals have damaged the Police Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) belonging to the Benue State Police command. The criminals also destroyed a police pick-up van and other vehicles, while individual properties were either burnt or looted.
However, the Police have arrested fifteen suspected criminals in connection to the dastardly act and also recovered some of the looted items.
The criminals, who reportedly disguised as students of the Benue State University, Makurdi, carried out the operation on Wednesday night, during a violent protest by students when a truck fully loaded with cement had knocked down a final year student of the institution and the police had gone to put an end to the mayhem.
The Police Public Relations Officer(PPRO), ASP Alaribe Ejike, in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP, yesterday, confirmed the incident and said that the police had gone to take control of the Wurukum roundabout to stop the rampaging students, who he said were criminals but claimed to be students, from gaining access to the main town.
Alaribe further disclosed that some of the policemen who were drafted to take control of the protest were overtaken and seriously injured by the suspected criminals and the armored personnel carrier vehicle completely destroyed.
The PPRO said, “The command has since commenced full scale investigation into the crisis to ascertain the remote and immediate cause of this criminal and condemnable behavior of these arsonists who have no respect for the laws of the land.”
Meanwhile, the Benue State University, Makurdi has been closed down indefinitely following the violent protest by the students.
The closure was sequel to the protest by the students, who barricaded the busy Makurdi-Gboko road and burnt down the office complex of the Benue State Internal Revenue Service (BIRS) and destroyed other properties.
The Registrar of the University, Dr. Timothy Utile in a statement said, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Charity Angya and the senate council of the institution had held a meeting in this regard and had directed that the school remained closed till further notice.