By George Okoh
Troops of the joint military operation codenamed Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) yesterday arrested a notorious criminal gang leader, Asaaghar Igye, in Zaki Biam, Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State.
Igye was allegedly linked to the recently killing of the district head of Kundav, Chief Awua Alabar.
Chief Alabar was murdered by gunmen on July 21, 2020, at his residence in Ukum LGA.
It was gathered that troops of Operation Wide Stroke deployed in Zaki Biam and Jootar in Ukum LGA of the state yesterday morning responded to a distress call from some locals who sighted the gang leader, Igye, who was earlier linked to an attack and killings in Alabar Village in Kundav.
It was further gathered that the troops swiftly mobilised to the area in search of the criminal kingpin, Igye, and subsequently arrested him.
A member of Kundav community, who spoke to journalists on the condition of anonymity, said the arrested criminal gang leader is already helping the military in providing information that would lead to the arrest of other members of his gang before he would be handed over the police for further investigation.
“We are very grateful to OPWS for what they have done for us. They have drastically reduced criminal activities in the Sankara axis of the state. I am appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to allow the troops to remain in Benue State,” he said.
When contacted, the Force Commander of OPWS, Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini, said he cannot comment on the arrest of the criminal gang leader, and therefore referred journalists to the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Information Department.