By George Okoh In Makurdi
The General Manager, Benue State Urban Development Board, Makurdi, Saint Gbilekaa Abrahams, has revealed that the Board has no intention to demolish 300 houses in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, as being speculated.
He said the agency had only embarked on sensitisation and public enlightenment campaign aimed at alerting the people on the dangers of building on water channels and flood plains.
Gbilekaa in a statement made available to journalists, said he was quoted out of context explaining that the agency past leadership had only served abatement notices to residents, a situation which he said was not necessary for demolition.
According to the statement, there is difference between abatement notices and abatement demolition, noting that the Urban Development Board under his watch has no intention of carrying out any demolition exercise as been over exaggerated in the media.
He further enjoined the good people of the state to continue to have confidence in the Governor Samuel Ortom administration.
“The present administration is a pro- people government and there is no cause for alarm and my appointment as the General Manager of the Board was to alleviate the sufferings of the Benue people order than inflicting pains on them”, he said.
Bida Boils as Students and Commercial Vehicle Drivers Clash
Laleye Dipo in Minna
A lecturer with the Federal Polytechnic Bida in Niger State and eight other students are among those severely injured in a fracas between students of the institution and some drivers.
Three other student who were reported to have been stabbed were feared to have died
The face- off between the drivers and students also reportedly degenerated into a communal clash as some natives vowed to avenge the death of the driver believed to be an indigene of the town.
It was learnt that the whole trouble started when some students boarded a commercial vehicle from an unknown place with Bida as their destination.
THISDAY learnt that the students insisted the driver must drop them at their campus but the driver said the normal stopping place for all commercial vehicles was at the motor park.
The driver was said to have taken the students to the motor park but immediately they alighted, the students allegedly attacked the driver and the conflict which later ensued attracted natives who defended the driver.
According to a source, when the students were overpowered, they ran to their campus to remobilise making the incident to become a free- for- all during which many dangerous weapons were used by the warring sides.
It was learnt that efforts by men of the vigilante and the police to quell the crisis was abortive. Some vehicles were said to have had their screens smashed while a motorcycle was burnt to ashes.
Two of those injured including the lecturer and a motorcycle rider according to the source were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre Bida for treatment but the health institution reportedly turned back six other victims for lack of space in the hospital.
Soldiers have been however, drafted to strategic areas of the town to help bring the situation under control.
Efforts to speak to the Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr. Abubakar Zukogi, on the issue was not successful as he was said to be in a meeting with some members of the institutions academic board.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Minna, DSP Muhammad Abubakar, when contacted pleaded for time to get adequate briefing before commenting.