Youths in Ado Local government area of Benue State on Tuesday staged a protest against the incessant molestation of innocent citizens over their political views by the council chairman, Hon James Oche.
The youths who were joined by women as well as masquerades marched through major streets in the area chanting solidarity songs.
Some of the protesters were spotted with placards that reads; “James Oche is an oppressor”, “Enough is Enough, we need water in Apa, not War”, “justice for Agila youths”, “justice for Hon. Ochonu Williams Okefie, Comr. Patrick Ezza and others”, and so on.
The youths accused the Local government chairman Mr James Oche of using the BENUE volunteer guards to molest his political opponents.
Oche who is a member of the peoples Democratic party, PDP, recently led the BENUE volunteer guards to a hotel in Otukpo to brutalize an APC presidential campaign council member, Williams Okefie Epe and one Mr Patrick Ezza, a human rights activist and social commentator.
Oche had in a letter dated November 13, 2022, and addressed to the special adviser on security to Governor Samuel Ortom, claimed that the victims; his political opponents, were suspected to have masterminded the killings of over 30 persons within Apa ward and neighboring communities of Ado local government area in the renewed Effium/Ezza crises.
The victims were allegedly dispossessed of their phones, money, and their belongings before being handed over to the police. They were however released after the intervention of the state police commissioner, wale Alao.
After their release from police custody, the victims were immediately taken to the federal medical center, Jabi in Abuja. However, a source confirmed that there were indications that one of the victims who suffered a brain hemorrhage may be flown abroad for medical care.
LSimilar cases of brutality and intimidation of political opponents have been reported against the council chairman, James Oche. The youths have now taken to protest. All efforts to reach the chairman through phone calls proved abortive as he was not picking up series of calls put across to him.