Gunmen storm local bam place and steal money

By Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

There was pandemonium on Sunday morning after as-yet-unidentified gunmen allegedly stormed the Tine Nune community of Ukum local government area in Benue state and took away an unspecified amount of cash owned by a local bam.

Sources in the area revealed that the gunmen believed to be following the bam officials stormed the venue of the bam meeting and started firing sporadically in all directions.

“It was while people were rushing for security that they took away all the money that was on the table. The money should amount to a few million,” said our source, who did not want to be named.

Our source further alleged that the gunmen who were in military camouflage also abducted local bam officials from the scene of the robbery.

Contacted by telephone on Sunday evening, Ukum council boss Steve Ayua, who confirmed the report, however could not confirm whether anyone had been abducted by the gunmen as speculated.

“Yes, some people came from the Katsina-Ala axis to rob the locals who were doing ‘adashi’ (local bam). The robbers who were in military camouflage uniforms shot sporadically to scare everyone and this caused people to flee.

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“I don’t know if they took people away or if they also ran for their lives. I can’t confirm to you now that anyone was abducted, but local people gathered and there were adashi.

“When they arrived, the volunteer community guards we sent in were very alert and would have confronted them if it weren’t for a military cover-up. We also have soldiers patrolling here.

“People came on motorbikes from Adako side to Katsina Ala LGA, but the people who are not seen now are two local adashi officials. They don’t know if they ran away or were kidnapped. The police are already on it, they will confirm if it is really a kidnapping,” the council boss said.

Efforts to get PPRO SP Police Public Relations Officer Catherine Anene to confirm the report failed as she had not yet returned his calls at the time of this report’s filing.

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