Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has charged security agencies in the state to step up vigilance in order to track down the syndicate kidnapping children across the state.
He gave the charge at the weekend when women whose children had been kidnapped visited him at the Benue People’s House Makurdi.
“Benue cannot afford to be a safe haven for kidnappers as well as other criminals and we shall do all in our power to support the security agencies to track the kidnappers and rescue the children,” he stated.
According to him the reports that 22 children had been kidnapped from the state were not accurate but that the kidnapping of even one child was not acceptable.
The Governor said the police at check points and on patrol must scrutinize commuters with the realization that not all people conveying children in their vehicles were the rightful parents or guardians.
He promised that his administration would continue to collaborate with relevant security agencies to curb all manner of criminality in the state.
Governor Ortom advised parents to closely monitor their children so as to shield them from danger while expressing optimism that with sustained prayers and cooperation from the public, the kidnapped children would be rescued.
He expressed sympathy and solidarity with families of the abducted children, and restated commitment of his administration to securing the lives and property of the citizenry.
In separate remarks, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 4, Mr. Yahaya Ardo stated that the police has received cases of abduction and said that they were investigating the incidences with a view to apprehending the perpetrators and bringing them to justice.
He advised parents and guardians to ensure that children are always accompanied by adults and educated to reject offers from strangers including food and drinks.
Deputy State Director of State Security Service, Mr.Ukoh Abasi, also confirmed that the agency has received reports of cases of abduction and arrested eight kidnappers who were undergoing interrogation.
Governor Ortom, security chiefs, top government officials and journalists were moved to tears with stories of the affected women particularly that of Mrs .Joy Nwankego who told the story of how her three month old child was snatched from her at gun point by unknown gun men while she was on her way to church last week.