From Rose Ejembi and Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi
Two people have reportedly been killed with three others abducted and some houses burnt during a communal clash between the Iharev and Kparev people of Tse-Sho Village in Makurdi Local Government Area on Thursday morning.
The Iharev and Kparev (indigene-settler) crisis in the Tyomu area had lingered for sometime now with both government and security agencies trying assiduously to intervene with a view to bringing the matter to an end.
Locals from the affected area disclosed to reporters that trouble however started on Wednesday when the Kparev people blocked the Makurdi/Gboko highway after they claimed that three of their men were abducted by the Iharev people.
The mayhem was said to have led to the death of two persons while commuters were stranded for hours due to traffick gridlock that was created on the highway as a result of the crisis.
When contacted, the Security Adviser, Lt Col Paul Hemba (retd), confirmed the report saying the youths of the two warring communities were already seated in his office for a meeting to resolve the crisis.
The state’s Police Command, while confirming the communal clash, stated that no life was lost in the mayhem.
According to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Catherine Anene, three persons were abducted in the area in the early hours of Thursday which resulted in the renewed crisis.
“On 22/9//2022 at about 0730hrs, information was received that aggrieved youths of Tse-Sho village blocked Makurdi-Gboko road.
“A team of police detectives deployed to the area gathered from eyewitness that, on the same date at about 0130hrs, armed men suspected to be a disputant group in a lingering land dispute invaded the community and burnt down some houses. They also abducted three (3) person’s in the community and took them to an unknown destination.
“It could also be recalled that there has been disagreement between two parties tagged settlers and indigenes within the area,” Anene stated.
The spokeswoman noted that series of interventions by the police and the Benue State Government brought about the peace that had been enjoyed in the last two years before this renewed attack.
She disclosed that after a successful deliberation with the youths, the blockades on the road were removed while investigation is ongoing to rescue persons abducted and to arrest perpetrators of the dastardly act.
Anene urged members of the community to remain calm and await findings from the ongoing investigation.
“The Commissioner of Police, Benue State Command, CP Wale Abass, has assured members of Tse-Sho community of his commitment to ensure that justice is attained in this case.
“He has advised that the youth should make useful information available to the police for ease of investigation. He has also invited community stakeholders to a meeting to avoid further escalation,” she said.
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