Benue, Rivers Massacres: Police deploy additional units to affected areas


The police say they have deployed additional five units to Benue and Rivers States, days after dozens of people were killed in the two states.

At least 20 people died in two Benue communities when herdsmen raided the towns, while 17 people were shot dead in Rivers by gunmen on New Year’s eve.

A police statement on Saturday said the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has approved the deployment of five additional units to the affected areas.

They include mobile police special forces, police aerial surveillance helicopters and special police joint intelligence and investigation teams.

The statement signed by the police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, said the commissioners of police and police personnel in the affected states were placed on alert.

Mr. Moshood said the deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Operations was dispatched to Benue to coordinate and supervise the implementation of the new security strategies put in place by the force.

The spokesman said that conventional police personnel, Counter Terrorism Unit, Police Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD) teams were also deployed to Benue and Rivers to work with the personnel on the ground.

He said the deployments were to bring new energy to the efforts to end attacks in those states.

He said that eight suspected gunmen arrested at the scene of the killings in Benue were being prosecuted.

The other two suspects arrested at a different scenes of crime were being arraigned in court.

He said the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 4, Makurdi, and Zone 6, Calabar, were mandated by the IGP to convene meetings in the affected states.

Mr. Moshood said they were also to supervise police investigation and intelligence teams, and other police special squads deployed to the two states.

The Force implores the people to be vigilant and security conscious. They should promptly report suspicious acts or persons to the nearest police detachment or station for prompt action to avert untoward incidents,” he said.