Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has urged the Nigerian military to exercise restrain in search for the recovery of missing hardware in the State.
Suspected Bandits on Tuesday clashed with troops of the Nigerian Army, making away with a stockpile military weapons in Oju LGA (171km from Katsina-Ala) of the State.
But the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima on Thursday, confirmed the death of one officer and 10 soldiers in Konshisha Local Government Area of the State.
Addressing journalists at the Government House in Makurdi on Friday over the development in Konshisha area, Governor Ortom revealed that three out of the number of weapons that were reported seized by angry youths from the military had been recovered, seeing that efforts are ongoing to recover the remaining one.
According to Governor Ortom, the military should exercise restraint in the ongoing effort to recover their weapons so as to prevent the loss of more innocent lives in the affected Communities in Konshisha Local Government Area of the State.
The Governor dismissed claims by Shangev-Tiev Assembly that over 70 persons have been killed in Konshisha Local Government Area of the State.
“That is the report I got from the Chairman. So, I’m taken aback to hear that an unknown group held a press conference and said 70 people were killed.
“I wish to call on the people to restrain themselves from making unguarded and unverified statement. This will not help matter. You will only succeed in aggravating the matter. You will only succeed in pouring petrol on an existing fire and you know the implications.
“The security men you know especially the soldiers of if they were not here, we will not be here today. Herdsmen, local bandits would have consumed us.
“I’m on top of the situation and monitoring it. I have not slept for the past three days ensuring several interventions. So, we do not want any situation that will amplify the one we already have. If anyone has any evidence contrary to what the chairman told me, he should bring it out instead of making inflammatory statements”, he said.