Armed men storm thrift meeting in Benue, abduct two officials, cart away cash contribution
Armed men in military camouflage stormed the venue of a local thrift contribution meeting locally called ‘Bam’ in Tine Nune community Mbatian Council Ward of Ukum Local Government Area, LGA, and abducted two officials of the meeting.
The gunmen, who attacked early Sunday morning also carted away the day’s cash contribution and a vehicle belonging to one of the members.
According to Vanguard, a source in the area said that the armed men who came from neighbouring Katsina-Ala LGA stormed meeting venue at about 10am on motorcycles and shot sporadically to scare away the locals.
“They dispersed the people at the meeting after which they carted way the huge funds they contributed for they day and also took away two officials of the ‘bam’ and a vehicle belong to one of the members.
“It all happened suddenly and when the youths of the community mobilized to capture the armed men they were unsuccessfully because they quickly fled with their motorbikes to neighbouring Katsina-Ala where they came from,” he said.
The Chairman of Ukum LGA, Stevie Ayua who confirmed the incident said the armed men stormed “a place where the people including local farmers and traders converge to do their local thrift contributions or what we locally call ‘Bam’ every Sunday.
“The armed came from a nearby village in the Shitile axis, stormed the meeting venue on motorcycles and dressed in military camouflage which confused our Community Volunteer Guards, CVGs, members because the military in our locality also patrol the communities on motorcycles and there is a subsisting ban on use of motorcycles in Ukum.
“So because the armed men were on motorcycles and dressed in military camouflage our local security who usually work closely with the military and police personnel by alarming them on time in the event of any security threat, did not detect the criminals on time.
“They successfully stormed the meeting venue shooting sporadically to scare the people and successfully carted away the money the thrift members contributed.
“Two officials of the ‘Bam’ have also not been seen as I speak with you. Though unconfirmed report had it that they were taken away by the armed men who also took away the vehicle of a member of the ‘Bam’.
“I just spoke to the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, of Ukum few minutes ago and up till now the two persons have not been seen. And nobody has called to tell us that they abducted the missing officials.
“The development is unfortunate because it is coming when we have done so much to ensure that such ugly incidents which used to be rampant in the past never happened in Ukum again. I think they beat us to it because they were in camouflage and our boys mistook hem for soldiers.”
The State Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent, SP, Catherine Anene, could not be reached to comment on the incident as at the time of filling this report.
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