At least 138 youths were yesterday arrested from seven buses and hauled into detention by men of the Taraba State Police Command, following intelligence report that they have been recruited for a malevolent purpose.
Police learnt that the suspects were allegedly recruited by an unregistered group known as Emergency Rescue Team, ERT.
Policemen intercepted the buses conveying the youths on stop-and-search operation at Mutum Biyu in Gassol Local Government Area of the state.
Confirming the arrest, the State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Joseph Kwaji, said that information revealed that the youths were hired to attack police stations and other public facilities across the state but did not give details.
According to him, “The Taraba Police Command wishes to inform the general public that sequel to security intelligence at the disposal of the command, some youths are being recruited at Wukari, Donga, Takum, Ussa and Ibi local government areas to attack police stations and government installations in Taraba State.
“The youths, comprising men and women between the ages of 20 and 30 years, were being conveyed in six buses belonging to ‘People’s Choice’, a Taraba State Government-assisted mass transit scheme while the seventh bus belongs to one of the orthodox churches that has a very large followership in the state.”
The command further said the youths, upon investigations, claimed to be going for documentation with the ERT, which is a voluntary organisation in Jalingo.
Kwaji said that four suspects had been arrested in connection with the illegal recruitment into the organisation and were being interrogated for more information to determine whether they had sinister motives or not.