Wife Of Benue Governor Tests Positive For COVID-19

Wife of Benue Governor, Eunice Ortom announced on June 3, 2020 that she has tested positive for COVID-19. Credit: Benue Govt.

 

The wife of Benue State Governor, Eunice Ortom has tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement she personally signed on Friday night, the First Lady said tests conducted on her came out positive.

The First Lady also noted that her son and some staff too were infected by the virus, adding that she has gone into total isolation and has commenced treatment.

“A few moments ago this evening, I received my result from the tests earlier carried out on me by NCDC personnel on routine screening at Government House, Makurdi which returned that I, my son, and some staff are COVID-19 positive.

“We have from this moment, gone into total isolation as required by the protocol and would immediately begin the management treatment as advised by medical experts,” she said.

Ortom, however, advised everyone who has had contact with her in the past two weeks to undergo screening and get tested.

The governor’s wife is optimistic of recovering from the virus, stressing that being CIVID-19 positive is not a death sentence.

Although she admitted that the virus is real, she asked residents of the state not to panic but should be responsible for their actions.

In doing this, Ortom wants the people “to take preventive measures to be protected and be safe by observing the primary protocols.”

One of such include wearing of face masks, constant washing of hands, maintaining Social Distance and staying indoors.

Troops Kill Four Militias, Arrest Suspected Kidnap Kingpin

A file photo of soldiers travelling in a truck.

 

 

The Nigerian Army has killed four suspected Tiv militias and injured others at Che Jukun village in Taraba State.

A statement by the Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, on Tuesday said the suspects were killed during a gunfight with the troops.

According to Enenche, the troops of Operation Whirl Stroke operating under Operation Accord deployed at Gbise in Katsina-Ala LGA in Benue State and Sector 4 in Taraba State conducted a joint commando raid on Monday at Rafin Kada in Wukari LGA and Yojaa in Donga LGA of Taraba State.

He noted that the armed militia opened fire on sighting the troops who responded with superior firepower, thereby neutralising four of them while an unconfirmed number escaped with gunshot wounds.

The troops recovered from the suspects, two locally-made rifles, 55 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition, 117 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, three AK47 magazines, and two motorcycles among other items.

In another development, Enenche said troops responded to a distress call from Zaki Biam on the activities of a suspected notorious kidnap kingpin, Kobo Ishor (aka ‘Lesser’), an associate of late Orjondu.

He noted that the suspect has been apprehended and undergoing interrogation and would be handed over to the police for prosecution.

“The High Command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria congratulates the gallant troops of Operation Whirl Stroke for their dexterity and professionalism and encourages them to remain resolute in curtailing the activities of criminals in the North-Central zone of the country,” the military spokesman added.

Police Arrest Kidnap Suspects Who Killed Doctor, Others After N7.5m Ransom

Police Engage Suspected Kidnappers On Kaduna-Abuja Highway, Kill Nine
A file photo of police officers on patrol.

 

 

Police operatives of the Intelligence Response Team have arrested two suspects for the kidnap of a medical doctor, Audu Benedict, his son, and one of his associates in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, who disclosed this in a statement on Monday said the victims were travelling from Taraba State to Abuja on March 10, 2019, before the incident.

He disclosed that the suspects – Henry Gwa, 25, and Terhile Tsavbe, 30, – who both hail from Benue State, were arrested on June 6 and 11 this year following an intense search for the victims and manhunt for the perpetrators by the police team.

“Investigations revealed that the criminal gang collected N7.5 million as ransom from the families of the victims as a condition for their release.

“The suspects forced late Dr Audu Benedict to issue them a cheque of N500,000 which they cashed in a commercial bank in Gboko town, Benue State,” the police spokesman said.

He added that despite collecting the sum, the suspects killed the three victims and had them buried in a shallow grave at Gawa in Katsina-ala LGA of Benue.

According to Mba, efforts are being intensified to arrest other suspects still at large and the police team is on the verge of exhuming the remains of the slain victims.

In a similar development, he said 25 other criminal suspects were arrested for their involvement in varying cases of kidnapping, armed robbery and illegal possession of prohibited firearms.

The police spokesman described the suspects as members of high-profile criminal gangs terrorising communities and major highways of the North-Central and North-West states of the country.

“Exhibits recovered by the police team from the suspects include six AK47 rifles, three locally fabricated pump action guns, one locally fabricated pistol, two Dane guns, 55 rounds of AK47 ammunition, four empty magazines, one laptop computer, and one Toyota Corolla car with REG No. MKD 13 RC,” he said.

Mba said all the suspects would be charged to court at the conclusion of investigations while the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has given assurance that the battle against criminal elements in the country was a continuous one.

He also called for all hands to be on deck towards decisive victory and reclaiming the public space from the criminal elements.

Benue Records First COVID-19 Death

 

Benue State Government has announced that the first death from the coronavirus disease (COVID 19) has been recorded in the state.

This is even as the confirmed cases have risen to 47 from the initial figure of 39 at the weekend.

The Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Sunday Ongbabo disclosed this to Channels Television on Tuesday.

Although he could not categorically confirm the cause of death, the Commissioner said the victim was being managed by the state government.

According to him, the patient had other health complications arising from a surgery he had, adding that a post-mortem test conducted on the corpse came back positive for COVID 19.

Troops Kill Bandit, Recover Weapons In Benue

Some items, including charms and military camouflage recovered from the bandits in Benue. Credit: Defence DHQ

 

Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke have killed one bandit in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.

This was confirmed in a statement issued by the Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche on Sunday.

According to Enenche, the troops under Operation Accord swung on the bandits following reports of their activities around Ginde area of Saghev Council Ward in the affected local council.

Following the raid conducted by the soldiers, the bandits fled with gunshot injuries while some exhibits were recovered from them.

These items include one Galil rifle, one Galil magazine, quantity 13 X 7.5mm ammunition, one Motorcycle one woodland camouflage shirt, some quantities of Indian Hemp and assorted charms.

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Subsequently, their camp was also destroyed.

Similarly, troops have arrested two suspects linked to the kidnap of a teacher in Foga LGA and area of the state.

The suspect – Yahuza Danlami and Danladi Baushe have been handed over to the Nigeria Police at Awe for investigations.

Recovered from them is a locally made rifle found in their possession.

See photos below: 

Police, LG Chairman Disagree Over Death Toll In Benue Attack

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File photo

 

 

Conflicting figures have emerged following an attack by gunmen at Itakpa community in Benue State.

The deaths were recorded when a group of armed men wearing military uniforms invaded Obi Local Government Area of the state.

They were said to have attempted to kill the lawmaker representing Obi State Constituency in the Benue State House of Assembly.

Although the police authorities in the state confirmed the attack, they insisted that the number of people who lost their lives was not up to 13.

In a telephone chat with Channels Television on Tuesday, the Commissioner of Police in Benue, Mohammed Mukandas, revealed that the police could only recover three bodies.

He insisted that the timely intervention of policemen in that area forced the gunmen to flee the scene, adding at about 70 personnel have been deployed to keep the peace.

The death toll given by the police commissioner was, however, contradicted by the local government chairman in Obi.

On his part, Mr Joseph Ipenyi told Channels Television that the armed men who were suspected to be herdsmen stormed Itakpa community and killed 13 people.

He added that they attacked other communities in the area, and described the act as a militia campaign to scare people out of their homes.

LG Polls: PDP Wins All Chairmanship, Councillorship Seats In Benue

Ekiti PDP Holds Governorship Primary Election

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has triumphed in the just concluded local government elections in Benue State.

This comes as the Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) declared the candidates of the PDP as winners of all the 23 chairmanships and 276 councillorship seats in the state.

Chairman of Benue SIEC, Tersoo Joseph, announced the results of the elections on Sunday at the commission’s Headquarters in Makurdi, the state capital.

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The PDP and four other political parties fielded candidates in the polls which held on Saturday.

Joseph said the election was conducted in the 23 local councils of the state and the results were declared in line with the guidelines of the commission.

He asked the newly elected chairmen and counselors to come forward for their certificates of return from Monday.

According to the SIEC chairman, this is part of the process of completing the job of the commission before their inauguration by Governor Samuel Ortom on a yet to be announced date.

COVID-19: Benue Reverses Decision To Re-Open Worship Places, Markets

A file photo of Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom
A file photo of Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom

 

The Benue state government on Saturday said it will no longer push for the re-opening of worship places and market places.

The government had, on Thursday, said it would commence the re-opening of state’s worship centres and markets which have been closed for close two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The reversal, Governor Samuel Ortom said, was premised on the federal government’s advice to states to be cautious about restarting economic and social activities.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Benue has recorded just five cases of COVID-19 as of Friday evening.

Benue’s five cases is the least among states who have reported at least one coronavirus infection.

Lawmakers To Probe Controversy On Benue COVID-19 Index Case

A combination of photos showing Mrs Susan Idoko and the map of Benue State.

 

 

The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the case involving Mrs Susan Idoko, the index case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Benue State who was transferred to Abuja.

The matter was raised on Tuesday as a motion of urgent public importance by a member of the House from Benue State, Blessing Onuh, during plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

Onuh, who represents Otukpo/Ohimini Federal Constituency, said Idoko was quarantined by the government following misinformation and diagnoses.

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According to her, the 56-year-old woman who is an indigene of Benue State with dual citizenship from the United Kingdom flew into Nigeria on March 22 for her mother‘s funeral.

The lawmaker added that Idoko, unfortunately, got quarantined by the government for COVID-19, saying it was an assertion backed by discrepancies in the laboratory results.

She noted that Idoko had a long flight following her departure from the United Kingdom and must have had jetlag – a common occurrence that necessitated her presentation to the hospital where she was primarily managed.

Onuh decried that the details of Idoko were not consistent with that of the lady who was referred from Benue State Teaching Hospital, Makurdi to Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital, Abuja.

She added that the personal information on the laboratory result from the NCDC did not tally with Idoko’s personal details.

According to the lawmaker, COVID-19 is real but not a death sentence or a yardstick for discrimination, and human rights infringement or violation, and Idoko’s case should not be different.

While commending the measures put in place by the government to tackle the disease, she said Idoko has begun to deteriorate psychologically and already having suicidal thoughts.

Onuh claimed that Idoko has been in isolation for about 50 days and has been forced to take treatment for COVID-19 even in her asymptomatic state.

Following contributions from other lawmakers, the House resolved to mandate the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), through the Federal Ministry of Health to critically evaluate Idoko as a matter of urgency and if proven otherwise, she should be allowed to go home.

It also resolved to carry out quality contact tracing and urge persons who are symptomatic to go for proper clinical evaluation and management with prompt release when they return to their premorbid state.

The lawmakers condemned the stigmatisation, inhumane treatment, and violation of the human rights of the people.

Second ‘Most Wanted’ Criminal Kingpin In Benue Killed – Military

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A file photo of soldiers.

 

 

Soldiers deployed in Benue have killed a suspected notorious criminal, Terugwa Igbagwa, during a raid operation in the state.

The Coordinator of Defence Media Operations at the Defence Headquarters, Major General John Enenche, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

According to him, Igbagwa whose alias is Orjondu died in a special commando operation on a criminal hideout along the highway linking Zaki Biam and Katsina-Ala in Benue.

He revealed that the operation was conducted by a combined team of troops of Operation Whirl Stroke Tracking Team and Special Forces of Sector 2 deployed in Zaki Biam.

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“The operation led to the neutralisation of Terugwa Igbagwa alias Orjondu,” Major General Enenche said in the statement.

He added, “It would be recalled that Orjondu is the second most wanted criminal kingpin next to Gana in Benue State.”

The military spokesman noted that Igbagwa was responsible for kidnapping, armed robbery, assassination, and gun-running among other criminal activities around Katsina-Ala, Ukum, and Logo Local Government Areas (LGAs) for many years.

Items recovered from the suspects include one AK 47 rifle, one locally made rifle, one AK 47 magazine with 30 rounds of 7.62mm special, and some charms.

“The Military High Command congratulates Operation Whirl Stroke for their exploits in recent times,” Enenche said.

COVID-19: 12 ‘Water Peddlers’ On The Run In Benue After Leaving Kano

A photo showing the map of Benue, a state in North-Central Nigeria.
An image showing the map of Benue, a state in North-Central Nigeria.

 

At least eight ‘water peddlers’ are on the run in Benue after the government rounded up 12 others in an apartment in Makurdi, the state capital.

According to locals, the ‘water peddlers’, usually referred to as ‘Mai Ruwa’, had come into Makurdi within the last two weeks from Kano.

Kano is one of the most affected states as Nigeria battles to contain the novel coronavirus which has killed more than 250,000 across the world.

A resident of Wukari street, in the Wurukum axis of Makurdi, where the persons were found, Martins Dagbah, said the residents had to reach out to the government after another person came from Kano on Tuesday to join those on the ground.

According to Dagbah, the persons came into Benue as Mai’Ruwa (water retailers) and have been supplying water to residents within the community.

The water peddlers reportedly all sleep on the floor in a two-room apartment with no furniture.

Border Control Worries

Following the discovery, Benue state Deputy-Governor and Chairman of the state’s COVID-19 response team, Benson Abounu, said he was worried about the porous border control measures and asked the federal government to lock down the country to avoid a spike in COVID-19 infections.

“I think a total lockdown is probably the right thing to do,” he said. “The lockdown on inter-state travel is not happening.

“And the second case we had in Benue was from Kano. We cannot tolerate this.”

The Deputy-Governor said samples of the 12 persons will be collected and sent to Abuja.

Ortom Reveals Identity Of Second COVID-19 Patient In Benue

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, giving an update on the COVID-19 outbreak at the Government House in Makurdi, the state capital.

 

 

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has revealed the identity of the second case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

The governor who addressed reporters on Tuesday at the Government House in Makurdi, the state capital, identified the patient as one Edward Manger.

According to him, the patient is an official of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) deployed in Kano State but fled to Benue in April.

Governor Ortom, therefore, called on anyone who might have had contact with him since he returned to Benue, including his family members and other associates to immediately isolate themselves in the interest of public safety.

He explained that the idea of revealing the identities of COVID-19 cases was for the interest of public health.

The governor added that the idea was also to help the people understand the need to be cautious by obeying all safety measures such as social distancing, regular washing of hands, use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers, and avoiding large gatherings.

He, however, advised indigenes of the state resident in other parts of the country to remain where they are.