By Brenda Agba
Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr Hyacinth Alia, has condemned the criminal attack on cattle traders, who are members of Cow Dealers Cooperative Society, Katsina-Ala Chapter, by gangsters operating around the Kwande axis.
The Governor made this condemnation during a peace meeting, at Jato-Aka Council Hall, where a delegation of the State Government, stakeholders of the local government, and the representatives of the Association, met to also brainstorm on investigation into the matter.
According to reports, the cattle traders were conveying cows, goats and bags of rice to the eastern part of the country, through Nyihemba Community where their truck fell accidentally, leading to the ugly incident.
The Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Joseph Alkali, expressed sadness over the attack, and directed that the Chiefs who are custodians of the communities, must produce the criminals believed to be youths within the communities.
According to the Governor, the traditional rulers have seven days to identify and produce the criminals.
He pledged to mitigate the losses by the traders, including the two cattle traders that lost their lives in the cause of the heinous act.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Hon Fidelis Unongo who hails from the area and was part of the state government delegation, also expressed disappoinment for such act to have taken place in a region that is already benefiting so much from the Governor’s innovative administration.
In a remark, the Secretary, Cow Dealers Cooperative Society, Katsina-Ala Local Government Chapter, Alh. Muniru Bawa, said out of the members on the truck, two were killed by the criminals, while eleven others are still missing.
On his part, the Mue-Ter Ichongo Baver, confirmed the reports and explained that the community was deeply sorry and disturbed by the incident and was already working with the local security agencies on ground to ensure justice is done.
He further explained that the youths who acted out of order will be arrested and handed over to security agencies as directed by the Governor, adding that such acts bring shame and are capable of causing insecurity to the community.