Renewed Benue, Ebonyi communal crisis claims 10 lives


By Salim Yunusa

At least, 10 people have been killed in a renewed communal crisis between natives of Ezza and Effium in boundary villages of Ado Local Government Area of Benue State and Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

Witnesses said the cause for the renewed crisis on Friday was not yet clear but that many villagers were killed in the affected areas.

Chairman of Ado LGA, James Oche, who confirmed to journalists in Makurdi on the telephone that 10 people were killed in the latest disturbances in the areas, has urged the communities involved to sheath their sword.

Oche said that the renewed hostility among the villagers had undervalued the peace his administration was working assiduously to achieve.

The chairman further appealed to the Ezza and Effium people to embrace peace for meaningful development to thrive among them while he commiserated with the families of those who lost their lives.

Meanwhile, the chairman also disclosed that the Police and the newly formed Community Volunteer Guards in Ado LGA have successfully rescued three people out of five allegedly abducted by suspected armed kidnappers in the area.

He said that the rescue followed their earlier abduction by some armed bandits, who on Thursday laid siege on the road between Utonkon in Ado LGA and Okpoga in Okpokwu LGA after they intercepted a Lagos-bound commercial vehicle from Oju LGA and took hostage of five persons.

“Operation Puff Adder Police Unit and the newly formed Community Volunteer Guards in Ado Local Government successfully confronted a group of kidnappers and secured the release of three of five persons abducted,” Oche said.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Benue Command, DSP Catherine Anene, told newsmen that she was yet to be briefed on the details of the incident.

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