28th March, 2011
Three persons were feared dead and scores of othersÂ injured in Makurdi, Benue State capital whenÂ members of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN,Â clashed with policemen who were trying to quell aÂ protest by them.
The ACN youths took to the streets protesting the kidnap of one of them, Moses Kuma, who was abducted three days earlier by people suspected to be supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the area.
P.M.NEWS gathered that the youths had given an ultimatum to the District Head of Kamshio, Chief Jonathan Adeke, to produce Kuma within three days or face unrest in his domain.
At the expiration of the ultimatum, the protesting youth barricaded the streets with tyres and the major highway was blocked with a petrol tanker.
Commuters on the Makurdi-Enugu Road were stranded for several hours following the blockade of the road.
As a result of the crisis, government deployed police armoured carrier personnel and police officers of the Benue State Joint patrol, known as OperationÂ Zenda, to dislodge the protesters from the area. Also, men of the 72 Army Battlion who accompanied the Chief Security OfficerÂ to Governor Gabriel Suswam were stationed there.
Kuma, a third year Physics student of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, was said to beÂ the ACN cartoonist and songs writer.
He composed the partyâ€™s campaign songs before he was abducted.
However, in its reaction, the state PDP has denied any complicity in the kidnap of Kuma.
The party accused the ACN of fabricating the story to score cheap political point.
Addressing journalists, the state Publicity Secretary of PDP, Hon. Godwin Ayiye, refuted the allegation.
He advised the ACN to seek the peopleâ€™s mandate legally and desist from campaign of calumny and violence