Otukpo, the home of the Senate President, David Mark and headquarters of Idoma land in Benue State was at the weekend plunged into deep fear following alleged text messages being circulated of plans to bomb the town by a militant Islamic sect.
The development forced security operatives to mount intensive security patrols around the town to forestall any security breach. Vanguard gathered that the Islamic sect last week sent text messages to security agents alerting them of plans to bomb the police station in the town, the Otukpo Main Market and St Mary’s Church, among others.
However, security agents in the area, not cowed by the threat went round the town with security vehicles including armoured personnel carriers, APCs in company of vigilante members, Okada riders and other well meaning members of the town to denounce the threat.
The development has thrown the town and its surroundings into a state of uncertainty as residents kept away from public gatherings, including church services yesterday.
Vanguard recalls that sometime last January, the town was also thrown into similar security threat when members of the sect were alleged to have visited the town and had gone round with the aid of commercial motor cyclists to locate their probable sites for bombing.
The police in the area, at the time, using its plain cloth detectives went into surveillance in order to identify members of the sect or those that may have link with them.
In the main, the Police in the state have fortified surveillance and security at its commands with the erection of heavy iron barricades at its entry points which makes it difficult for anybody to force his way into the premises.
When contacted, the Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Alaribe Ejike said he was yet to be informed about the development.
Police in APCs and members of the vigilante groups were patrolling Otukpo streets yesterday after residents received text messages from members of the Boko Haram sect who threatened to bomb the town.