It was a bloody weekend for Benue Links transport company and its passengers as one was reportedly killed in an ambush by suspected herdsmen and many sustained injuries.
The unfortunate incident happened on the busy Makurdi- Naka – Adoka federal highway in Benue state on Friday.
Recently, hoodlums have launched a series of attacks on the Benue state-owned transport company and kidnapped many passengers for ransom.
An eyewitness who escaped from the scene of the attack Paul Omale told The Nation that the journey from Makurdi to Kula village was smooth, but shortly after the 18-seater bus in which they were traveling came under heavy gun attack.
” We heard gunshots from directions spread on our bus, about two who did not do at the spot while others sustained various degrees of injuries.
Omale said it was when the bus veered into the bush and grounded to a halt that they discovered that the gunmen had also shot at other commercial vehicles, and adducted some passengers.
The Nation learnt that shortly after the attack there was traffic gridlock around the scene as security personnel responded and took the injured to General Hospital Naka, headquarters Gwer – west Local Government Area for treatment.
At press time the Benue State Police Public Relations Officer PPRO, Kate Aneene , a SP was yet to confirmed the incident.
However the Peoples Democratic Party , PDP, stated that the silence of Benue state Governor Hyacinth Alia , seems to be aiding and abetting terrorist activities in the state.
In a press release signed by the state Publicity Secretary Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr.Bembgba Iortyom, on Saturday and made available to newsmen in Makurd, the opposition party ‘ 24 hours after the attacked and killing on innocent traders on Makurdi – Naka road , Governor Hyacinth Alia was yet to react.
The PDP statement reads in part;
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State views the policy of silence by Governor Hyacinth Alia over the activities of terrorists in the state as aiding and abetting crime.
Over 24 hours after reports emerged that suspected Fulani herdsmen laid siege on the Makurdi – Naka Road and killed scores of travellers, Governor Alia, is yet to react to the incident.
This silence of the governor follows a trend of his attitude regarding such incidents in the state since he came to office, with his media handlers suggesting his approach to tackling insecurity will be devoid of what they term as the “propaganda” deployed by immediate past Governor Samuel Ortom.
PDP wonders how the governor intends to root out terrorists without condemning their crimes publicly.
Are Benue people not entitled to know, even if only for purpose or confidence building, what action plan Governor Alia has to deal with the unending killings and kidnappings by Fulani herdsmen and bandits across the state?
Is continuous public attention not needed to keep the crimes of those terrorists in the public glare and on the front burner of national discourse so as to speed up counter action from relevant authorities?
It can be recalled that as governor Ortom was consistent in calling public attention to the scourge of herdsmen killings and destruction in the state, and while that may not have stopped the crimes for the known fact that the criminals enjoyed backing from very high quarters, it mitigated it considerably.
PDP suspects that Governor Alia’s policy of silence over the atrocities of terrorists in Benue serves a politically convenient purpose for certain interests outside of the state, yet the party cautions him against continuing with the policy which is emboldening criminals and worsening insecurity in the state.