The House of Representatives has taken a decisive step to investigate the recent armed robbery in Otukpo, Benue, which resulted in the tragic loss of several police officers’ lives. This decision stemmed from the adoption of an urgent motion presented by Blessing Onuh (PDP, Benye) during the Tuesday plenary.
In presenting the motion, Onuh emphasized that the primary responsibility of the government is to ensure the security and well-being of its citizens.
On October 20, Otukpo, which was previously known for its relative peace, was suddenly besieged by a group of suspected armed criminals numbering over 20. This gang subjected the community to a horrifying ordeal that lasted for over two hours, using rocket launchers, dynamites, AK-47 rifles, and other advanced weaponry to wreak havoc.
Onuh pointed out that the assailants initially targeted the local vigilance group, which serves as the first line of defence for the community. Subsequently, they launched an assault on the Otukpo police station, resulting in the tragic deaths of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and three other female police officers.
As the attack on the police station unfolded, other members of the gang simultaneously attacked four commercial banks, where they not only took lives but also made off with substantial amounts of money. The banks affected by this violence included IBTC, Zenith, UBA, and First Bank. The incidents at these banks led to numerous fatalities and left many others with gunshot injuries.
Onuh highlighted the profound trauma experienced by the residents of Otukpo, who continued to feel unsafe even after the assailants had departed.
The House of Representatives unanimously condemned the robbery and the tragic loss of life during the incident. The House called upon the police, the Department of State Services (DSS), and other security agencies to exert every effort to apprehend and prosecute those responsible for the robbery.
Additionally, the House urged the government to take immediate action by deploying additional security personnel to safeguard Otukpo and its surroundings, thereby averting any possible recurrence of such a tragic event.
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