The Governor of Benue State, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, was attack by a group of young protesting youths on Wednesday, in the Ugondu community of Makurdi LGA. The youths pelted stones at the governor in protest against the burial of Engr. Michael Vaatia, the proprietor of Vaatia College, within their community.
The governor had visited Vaatia College to assess preparations for the burial scheduled to take place within the school premises. The protesting youths reportedly entered the school premises and vandalized the grave of Engr. Vaatia.
During the governor’s address to community leaders at the school, a group of individuals chanted war songs, disrupting the event. Eyewitnesses reported that the youths attempted to intimidate attendees by firing gunshots into the air.
Security escorts tried to prevent their entry into the school grounds, resulting in some members of the governor’s entourage being unable to enter. However, the police’s specialized unit, Operation Zenda, arrived to quell the situation.
Six protesting youths were arrested for their actions, and numerous individuals were apprehended and taken into custody.
Governor Alia used the opportunity to caution community leaders, including former Senator Fred Orti, retired Permanent Secretary Akange Audu, Ter Makurdi, and other traditional rulers, against actions that may lead to chaos and disunity within the state. He emphasized the need for cooperation and unity among community leaders.
“I have come to correct some misgivings that happened in the rulership of your son as governor. I sent both the Tiv, Idoma, and other tribes overseas for training without discrimination. I want to believe you, the traditional and community leaders, denying involvement in what has happened. Surely, some youths arrested will make confessions, and if they mention your name, be ready to go and answer” the governor stated.