Fear Grips Benue Communities Over Missing Of Nine Villagers

Nine persons have been reported missing in the Ado Local Government Area of Benue State.
A source told our correspondent that two of the victims from Ijigban council ward went missing in September while seven other young men from Apa council ward disappeared on October 7, 2021.
The nine missing persons were reported to have left their residents for Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
The source said, “The route where these young men went missing is the same area where communities in Ado local government have been having a protracted conflict with their neighbours (Ezza and Effium) in Ebonyi State.

We had reliable information that the two people who went missing in September and the other seven that went missing last week passed through the same route.”
The chairman of Ado local government, James Oche, confirmed the disappearance of the nine young men.
He said, “It is mysterious. We are still investigating to ascertain what transpired. It all started on September 11 when we received the report of two persons missing. It was reported to the police.
“These two people are from Ijigban council wards of Ado. We noticed that they were going to Abakaliki in Ebonyi State and they passed through a short route. However, we have been having issues with Ezza and Effium which escalated to our local government from Ohawu LGA of Ebonyi. We are investigating but there has been no insight into what transpired.
“On October 7, another report came to us that seven young men on two motorcycles going to Abakaliki to open a bank account left Apa ward but went missing. They were talking to their people until in the afternoon when their lines stopped connecting. It was confirmed that they got towards the crisis area.”
Oche said the two incidents were reported to the police but nothing was done about the missing persons.
While stating that the state governor, Samuel Ortom, was making efforts to ensure the return of the missing persons, the council chairman said the development had heightened tension in the area.
Oche said that he had visited parents of the missing persons and the youth in the area to appeal to them to remain calm.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police, DSP Catherine Anene, confirmed the missing of the nine persons in the council area.
She said, “The case has been reported, police are on their trail, it happened at the border of Benue and Ebonyi states.’’

Copyright PUNCH.

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