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Sunday, 21 January 2018

Helicopter loaded with arms lands in Taraba village, govt says

Helicopter loaded with arms lands in Taraba village, govt says

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A helicopter suspected to be loaded with arms and ammunition was, last night, reported to have landed in a village called Jibu, located along River Benue, near Ibi, in Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State.

Senior Special Assistant to Governor Darius Ishaku on Media and Publicity, Mr. Bala Dan-Abu, told newsmen that the arms and ammunition were allegedly meant for a militia group that might have been planning an attack on Taraba villages.

“This system of arms delivery was used prior to the tragic attacks in Agatu communities in Benue State last year, which led to the killings there.

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“When it was reported, nothing was done to trace and arrest the owners of the helicopter.

“That strategy works for them in Agatu and they are using it again today.

“This may be another planned militia attacks on the people of Taraba in the offing,” Dan-Abu said.

Member representing Wukari II Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Josiah Aji, in a telephone interview on Sunday, said he was also alerted to the development.

Aji said he has since contacted the chairman of Wukari LGA, Hon. Daniel Adi, to be on the alert, while urging the security agencies to launch investigation into the allegation.

When contacted, the Executive Chairman of Wukari LGA, Hon. Daniel Adi, said he was still gathering intelligence on the issue and that he has sent his surveillance team to the area and will get back to our correspondent with detailed report.

A resident of Jibu who pleaded anonymity told newsmen in a telephone interview that a helicopter had landed in the village in the night, but that the mission of the helicopter had not yet been ascertained.

“There was rumour recently that arms were being ferried across River Benue in the area to Banteje, a town along Wukari-Jalingo road, but I cannot confirm to you whether a helicopter landed in our village or not, because I have been in Wukari town for the past two days.”

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Another resident of Jibu who simply gave his name as Ahmed told newsmen that he was not aware of any helicopter landing in the village.

“If a helicopter landed here, it will not be hidden, given the noise associated with helicopters. Maybe I was asleep when when the helicopter landed,” he said.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP. David Misal, dismissed the information as a mere rumour and cautioned against spreading “fake information” on the social media.

Misal told newsmen that the Police surveillance team in the area has been directed to get to the roots of the matter.

“For now, the information remains a mere rumour, but we have our men there. As soon as we have further information about the issue, I will get back to you,” he said.

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