On Friday, not less than three members of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Benue State were allegedly killed, and several others were injured during the party’s Benue South Senatorial caucus meeting which was held in Otukpo, headquarters of the senatorial district.
Our reporters learnt that a fight broke out during the meeting between some men believed to be loyal to the current chairman of the party in the state, Mr. Abbah Yaro, and a member of the House of Representatives from the senatorial district.
The federal lawmaker was said to have declared his ambition to contest the Benue South senatorial ticket on the occasion.
It was further learnt that the fracas resulted in the death of three persons, including a pastor, (names witheld), while several other party faithfuls sustained injuries.
While Speaking to our correspondent over the phone in Makurdi, Mr Abbah Yaro said that the fight did not begin as a result of the meeting. He further stated that the zonal meeting went on smoothly and ended successfully.
He explained that despite the plans by some members of the party from Benue South Senatorial district to disrupt the meeting, everything went well. He said,
“Some people in my senatorial zone do not want me back as the state chairman of the party even when the entire zonal leadership of the party in the state has endorsed me for a second term.
Some people, who just defected from the PDP to the APC, are fighting me and they are the cause of Friday’s mayhem.
However, what I gathered is that the fight that led to the death of the three people, started in one of the streets of Otukpo, a day before the zonal meeting was held and l was not there.”
The Director of Publicity of the party in the state, Apeh Peter, alleged that the fight that led to the demise of the people might have been instigated by a federal lawmaker who wanted to contest the Benue South Senatorial district. He said,
“I heard about the killings. The incident did not happen at the venue of the meeting or at the zonal party secretariat. The crisis started from Thursday. I heard that boys were moving from street to street, killing people.”
All efforts to speak with the federal lawmaker were futile, as his telephone number which was made available to our reporter was switched off.
Also, command spokesman, ASP Moses Yamu, could not be reached for confirmation as of the time of filing this report. He did not return calls made to his phone neither did he respond to a text message sent to him.