By PETER DURU
MAKURDI—NO fewer than 50 heavy duty trucks were yesterday set ablaze at the Benue Cement Company, BCC, in Gboko following a sharp disagreement between two factions of the trailer drivers’ union operating within the factory site.
Eyewitnesses in Gboko said the crisis erupted at the factory site of the company owned by business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, when a truck belonging to one of the factions allegedly lost control apparently due to brake failure and ran over a commercial motorbike operator carrying one of the factional leaders killing, both of them on the spot.
The accident sparked a major crisis between the factions resulting in the mayhem that has left altogether, about three persons dead. The feuding factional unions later blocked the Gboko-Makurdi Federal Highway attacking commuters on the route.
The ensuing crisis has left the entire Tse-Kucha community in total disarray as residents have been moving out to other areas for safety. An attempt by reporters to access the point of protest was unsuccessful due to the chaotic situation as stranded motorists blocked the road, while several other motorists were making u-turn and running towards the direction of Makurdi, the state capital.
Meanwhile Governor Gabriel Suswam has condemned the crisis in Gboko, expressing displeasure at the development. Asking the combatants to sheathe their swords and allow peace to reign in the town, Suswam said: “This crisis is condemnable, all parties to the dispute must sheath their swords and allow the law take its course”.
Meanwhile, the Governor has ordered law enforcement agencies to step into the crisis zone to restore peace and order in the troubled town, even as attempts to get the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Ejike Alaribe, to comment on the development proved abortive as he could not be reached on phone.