Again, three killed in Benue communal clash

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By Peter Duru – Makurdi

Three persons were feared dead in a bloody communal clash that broke out between neighbouring Odejo and Ikobi communities in Agatu and Apa Local Government Areas, LGAs respectively, of Benue State.

According to different accounts from the area, some militias from  Odejo community on Sunday launched an attack on Ikobi community after it was rumored that an Odejo man whose mother hails from Ikobi was allegedly caught and killed after he purportedly led some armed herdsmen to invade Ikobi community.



Another account has it that killings in the two communities were sparked off by a rival cult war in the two LGAs.

Though a lady and an indigene of Ikobi who spoke on condition of anonymity told Newzandar News that some suspected armed militias from Odejo community Sunday morning invaded Ikobi community, for unknown reasons, shooting sporadically and killed three persons.

According to her “It was late last Saturday night that people started rumouring that Odejo people were coming to attack Ikobi Community.

“The story was that one of their persons got missing in Ikobi and they were coming for reprisal if the person was not produced.

“Then, just this morning being Sunday they came in search of the person shooting sporadically, destroying property and in the process killed three persons.

“As I speak to you, no one can actually tell if there was justification for this barbaric attack because we did not have any previous problem with them and unfortunately the three persons killed were my cousins from same family,” she added.

Also speaking on the attack, the President General Odejo Community Development Association, Mr. Damian Onehi, said there was no existing conflict between the two communities, saying both villages had been relating well with each other as good neighbours.

“This fight broke out as a result of rumour from both sides but I tell you that we have been good neighbours since time immemorial.

“We have never had cause to quarrel over lands as neighbours or over woman. In fact we inter-marry.

“The Ikobi Community were alleging that our people led armed fulani herdsmen to attack them which is not true. Again, they said that a cult group came to kill someone meanwhile the person that was killed in Ikobi is from Odejo but came to take his mother who happened to be an indigene  of Ikobi.

“I want to urge security agencies to investigate the cause of this fight between the two communities. This has never happened before”, Onehi said.

When contacted the Benue state Command Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent, DSP, Catherine Anene confirmed the clash saying the command recorded two deaths in the crisis.

“It was a clash between the two communities of Odejo and Ikobi in Agatu and Apa local government areas of the state over land. We have deployed our men to the area. However, two persons lost their lives,” Anene said.

Also, the Force Commander Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS, Major General Adeyemi Yekini who confirmed the clash said “we have stationed our troops there and everywhere is now calm,” he said.

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