Benue State Governor, Rev. Hyacinth Alia’s convoy was reportedly attacked by some angry youths in Ugondu community in Makurdi Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday.
The youths from Ugondu community hurled stones at the governor’s convoy while protesting over plans to bury the proprietor of Vaatia College, Makurdi, Engr. Michael Vaatia within the school premises located in their community.
Reports revealed that six of the protesting Ugondu youths were arrested by the police for throwing objects at the governor’s convoy.
Gov Alia had visited Vaatia College to assess the level of preparation for the burial of the deceased proprietor.
Engr Vaatia, who is the proprietor of the College, died a couple of days ago and is to be buried within the school premises on Thursday.
The irate youths from the host community of Ugondu allegedly stormed the school and destroyed the grave.
The youths who came out in large numbers were chanting war songs when the governor was speaking with the leaders of the community in the school.
It was learnt that the youths stalled the proceedings as security escorts attempted to prevent them from accessing the school, while some of the governor’s entourage were trapped outside.
Sources said the youths allegedly fired gunshots into the air to scare people but were overpowered with the arrival of the police special unit, code-named Operation Zenda, and several of them were arrested.
While addressing leaders of Ugondu community, among them were former Senator Fred Orti, retired Permanent Secretary Akange Audu, Ter Makurdi, and other traditional rulers, Alia cautioned against acts that could create pandemonium and disunity in the state.
“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 further said that about a week ago, an Igbo man and one other person who died were buried in Makurdi town without protest from any youth group and called for calm.
Alia, who later addressed students on campus, gave the assurance that there would be safety during and after the burial.
He directed the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations to ensure that peace reigns during the wake-keep and the burial slated for Thursday.
The reconstruction of the damaged grave by the angered Ugondu youths was ongoing at the time of this report ahead of the interment of the deceased proprietor on Thursday.