. As PDP thugs attack Ortom’s Office
The political tension in Benue has taken a down turn as violence takes over the campaigns in Benue. The state has witnessed an unprecedented sound of violence as thugs and supporters of the two leading political parties have began metting out violence on property and known supporters of opposing camps.
Only between yesterday and early hours of today hoodlums identified as well known Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, thugs last night attacked All Progressives Congress, APC, supporters and destroyed property at the Half Haven Hotel and the Ortom/Abounu campaign headquarters at Oracle Printing Press Limited, High Level, Makurdi.
A victim of the attack, Terungwa Sunny Nyior, disclosed that he and several APC supporters sat out at HAF Haven Hotel at about 11 pm last night when suddenly more than 30 PDP thugs stormed the place with gunshots and engaged them in a free for all fight using rifles, axes and cutlasses.
He stated that the attackers removed the tooth of Terhile Uchi, another APC supporter with an Axe and also hit him on the hand.
According to him they broke the glasses of three APC vehicles parked on the premises before they proceeded to the Ortom/Abounu campaign headquarters.
Mr Nyior said they were able to arrest one of the attackers who he identified as Tianpa and took him to the police A Division in Makurdi.
He disclosed that he knew most of the attackers and has given their names to the police for arrest.
The thugs pulled down APC flags, billboards, and posters and broke office windows as well as that of the boutique on the premises.
They broke glasses of campaign vehicles parked at the office and that of the Oracle Driving School.
Eyewitnesses say the damage would have been more extensive if it were not for an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps posted to the place who fired into the air and they dispersed.
Reacting to the incidence, Chief Dr Ortom stated that it was unfortunate that the attack plans against him which had been uncovered were been implemented but appealed to his supporters to remain calm and law abiding while the matter had been reported to the police.
The APC governorship candidate stated that the attacks were intended to provoke him and his supporters to react so that the ruling party could frame him up for arrest and appealed that no one should give the opponents that opportunity
He called on the police to arrest those culpable and prosecute them to serve as a deterrent to others.
Chief Dr Ortom appealed to political leaders to impress on their followers to abide by the peace initiatives of the Benue Catholic Bishops which they all subscribed to and cease hostilities. One
He said he would explore the possibility of dialogue with all political stakeholders from all the parties on the development so as to avert escalation of the situation because the people of the state cannot afford further violence in addition to the ongoing external attacks and general poverty in the land.
Meanwhile billboards of the PDP governorship aspirant were also destroyed at the pages park garden where they were hosted by suspected APC supporters. Although no loss of life or injury was registered the billboards were severely vandalised. See pictures of vandalism below: