No fewer than 73 young men from Nasarawa State were on Monday intercepted by troops of the 72 Special Forces Brigade, Nigerian Army, Makurdi, Benue State.
The young men were said to be heading for Imo State when the soldiers, who were working on an intelligence report, intercepted them at the Agan tollgate, Makurdi.
The men had with them 47 Bajaj motorcycles in five trucks conveying some minerals from Plateau State to a Port Harcourt-based company.
The Benue State Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, who visited the scene on Tuesday, commended the troops for their diligence and professional conduct.
He stated that despite attempts to evade arrest, the soldiers were able to stop the trucks and apprehend the men.
Abounu said what he had seen and heard were contrary to the speculation that a truck loaded with arms and men to attack the town was intercepted, adding, “No arms were found after a thorough search conducted by the soldiers.”
The deputy governor wondered how such a large army of young men from the same state could be found together and going to a place like Imo State, “which they know to be experiencing serious security challenges at the moment.”
Abounu charged the security men to carry out a detailed profiling of the passengers for further action as the answers coming from them did not add up.
Earlier, the Commander of the 72 Special Forces Brigade, Lt. Col. A. D. Alhassan, said he and his men acted based on a security report and intercepted the trucks immediately they got the hint that they were heading towards Makurdi.
The commander said his men spent some hours waiting for the travellers before they finally got to Makurdi at night.
He said a thorough search had been conducted on them with all goods in the trucks offloaded and their motorcycles dismantled for proper search, adding that no arms were found.
One of the young men, who identified himself as Emmanuel Ayugwa, said they were going to Imo State for okada business.