Deploy your men to troubled Benue community, group tells IGP 

A group known as Otukpo Youth Patriotic Forum (OYPF) on Sunday called on the Inspector General of Police (IFP) and the Commissioner of Police (CP) Benue state command, to deploy well-trained police officers to Amia-Icho community to restore order and ensure the safety of the residents forced to flee their homes.

There has been reports of unwholesome activities in Amila-Icho in Otukpo local government area of Benue state which allegedly led to the killing of one Chief Sunday Okpe and thrown the area  into turmoil with reports of widespread violence, intimidation and blatant disregard for the rule of law.

A statement issued Sunday and signed by president of OYPF, Ejelikwu Adakole, and secretary, James Iduh, blamed the situation  in Amia-Icho community on the laxity of the Otukpo Police area command leadership which they  alleged  took sides.

The group said, “It is alarming as widely alleged that the Area Commander, David Ogenyi, has taken sides with one faction in an ongoing chieftaincy tusle in the area, a development that has forced him to abdicate his fundamental role of maintaining an impartial stand in  the crisis.”

The group also said the situation has resulted in the displacement of the Amla-Icho people who are peasant farmers.

The group said by allowing the unlawful activities to occur under its watch, the area command leadership betrayed the oath of office to protect the lives and property of all citizens, regardless of their affiliations.

“We urge the IGP to take swift and decisive action to address this crisis and restore the trust of the community in the police force.

“We also urge the IGP to ensure that the rule of law is upheld, and any of its personnel involved in the unlawful activities are held accountable for their actions.

“The people of Amia-Icho deserve to live in peace and security, free from the threat of violence and intimidation,” the group stated.

However, a group of concerned lawyers, human rights activists and social justice crusaders, who responded on behalf of the area commander, described him as a dogged crime fighter and a no- nonsense man.

The group advised that instead of dissipating energy fighting the area commander, such energy should be channeled into fighting land grabbing and other crimes in the area.

The lawyers also responded to an earlier petition on the Amla-Icho saga through a law firm, V. E. Johnson & Co, signed by Dr D.O. Ogah, and addressed to the IGP, AIG zone 4 and Commissioner of Police, Benue state and copied the Och’Idoma, the area commander and Otukpo chapter of NBA.

They said the misunderstanding that took place between Okete Okpikwu and Otada Otukpo has nothing to do with the matter that happened at Amla-Icho community where one Chief Okpe was gruesomely slaughtered.

“The scenarios, are not connected/related at all, they are completely different,” they stated.