Soldiers of 72 Special Force Brigade, Nigeria Army, Makurdi on Monday night intercepted 73 young men from Nasarawa State on their way to Imo State.
The able-bodied young men who were loaded in five trucks were intercepted at Agan Toll Gate, Makurdi by the military working on a security report.
Also seen with the young men were 47 Bajaj motorcycles. The trucks were said to be conveying some minerals from Plateau State to a Port Harcourt based company.
Benue State Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, who visited the barracks on Tuesday commended the Special Forces for their diligence and professional conduct.
The deputy governor expressed joy that despite the attempts to evade arrest, the soldiers were able to apprehend the trucks and arrest the men.
Abounu said that the arrest was contrary to speculations in town about the confiscation of a truck loaded with arms and men who were trying to attack the town, saying, “no arms were found after a thorough search conducted by the soldiers.”
He expressed surprise at how such a large number of young men from the same state could be found together going to a place like Imo State, which is known to be experiencing serious security challenges at the moment.
The deputy governor charged the security men to carry out detailed profiling of the passengers for further action as the answers coming from them do not add up.
The Commander of 72 Special Forces Brigade, Lt. Col. AD Alhassan said that his men acted based on security report.
He said that as soon as they got the report that some trucks were heading to Makurdi they moved to intercept the trucks immediately.
Lt..Col. Alhassan said they spent a couple of hours waiting for them before they finally arrived at night.
He said that the soldiers had conducted a thorough search on them with all goods on the trucks offloaded and their motorcycles dismantled for proper search but said no arms were found.
One of the young men, who said his name is Ayugwa, said they were all going to Imo State to do okada business, adding that they were aware of the serious security challenges there but decided to go because their brothers there told them that everything had calmed down.