Troops of the 72 Special Forces Brigade, Nigerian Army, Makurdi, Benue State, on Monday intercepted 73 men from Nasarawa State in five trucks.
The men were said to be heading for Imo State when the soldiers intercepted them at the Agan tollgate, Makurdi.
The soldiers, who were working on an intelligence report, discovered that men had with them 47 Bajaj motorcycles in five trucks conveying some minerals from Plateau State to a Port Harcourt-based company.
Benson Abounu, Deputy Governor of Benue State, who visited the scene on Tuesday, commended the troops for their timely intervention and diligence.
Abounu stated that despite attempts to evade arrest, the soldiers were able to stop the trucks and apprehend the men.
He 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”.
He charged the security men to carry out detailed profiling of the passengers for further action as the answers coming from them were not reasonable enough.
Speaking earlier, Lt. Col. A. D. Alhassan, Commander of the 72 Special Forces Brigade, 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.