Insecurity: PDP advices Gov Alia to change strategy in Benue

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State has called on Governor Hyacinth Alia to revise his approach to addressing security issues in the state.

The opposition party’s advice was conveyed in a statement by its publicity secretary, Bemgba Iortyom, while expressing condolences to the government and people of Ukum Local Government Area following recent killings.

The statement followed a violent protest in Ayati village, where killings by local bandits led to the destruction of both personal and government properties by protesters.

The governor responded to the protests by imposing a 24-hour curfew in the affected local government.

While consoling those who lost loved ones and sympathizing with those whose properties were destroyed, the PDP condemned the actions of those taking the law into their own hands.

“PDP further regrets to know that the events in Zaki Biam in the last couple of days spotlight the degree of insecurity in the state in a manner that necessitates a change of approach from Governor Hyacinth Alia in his handling of security in the state.

“Reports from the area indicate that for the better part of yesterday, angry mobs went on the rampage through Zaki Biam unchallenged, ransacking and burning down properties, both public and private.

“The incident is reported to have started as a protest by locals in the town against the latest killings, but events eventually got out of hand as mobs of angry youths hijacked the protest and set about ransacking and burning down properties including the Local Government Council Secretariat, the Chairman’s Lodge, a public commodities warehouse, private businesses, and residences including those of the Chief of Staff to the governor, Hon Paul Biam.

“It is a major source of worry that local accounts have publicly lamented the lack of a security response rapid enough to have quelled the situation and brought it under control, thereby mitigating the extent of destruction visited on properties in Zaki Biam,” the statement read in part.

The PDP urged Governor Alia to heed the voice of the masses and prioritize a rapid response strategy to handle insecurity in the state.

The party suggested improving the logistics and communication capabilities of security agencies, initiating a disarmament and resettlement program for bandits in the Sankera area, and employing a carrot-and-stick approach to address the situation.

The PDP also called on the governor to act with sincerity and mobilize the people of Benue, regardless of political, religious, or other differences, to tackle the insecurity issue collectively.

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