Konshisha-Oju Communal Clash: Benue Govt to Demarcate Boundary Next Week

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Engr Benson Abounu

By Amos Aar, Makurdi

AS a measure aimed at permanently ending the lingering violent communal clashes between two neighbouring communities of Okpute in Oju local government area and Bonta in Konshisha local government area, both in Benue State, the Deputy Governor and chairman, Benue State Boundary Committee, Engr. Benson Abounu, will next week to lead the Boundary Committee to carry out demarcation of the boundary between the two warring communities.

Engr. Abounu stated this last Thursday as part of the resolutions reached at a State Security Council meeting held at Government House, Makurdi.

In attendance at the Security Council meeting were the Chairmen of Konshisha LGA, Hon. James Jirgba, his Oju LGA counterpart, Hon. Clement Onaa, traditional rulers from both local government areas, members of the State House of Assembly representing Konshisha and Oju, community elders, top government appointees, and youth leaders.

Although the demarcation exercise is slated for the week after Easter holidays, no definite date has been set.

According to the programme, the demarcation exercise will be preceded by a joint meeting of youths and elders from the two communities, who will collectively visit the boundary areas to identify the flashpoints of disagreement in order to ease the work of the demarcation team.

Prior to the Security meeting last Thursday, the two communities had unanimously agreed to cease all forms of hostilities, thereby opening to traffic the ever busy Awajir-Oju Road which had been deserted following the outbreak of hostilities between the two neighbours.

The Deputy Governor, who expressed sadness over the renewed crisis after so much peace had been achieved in the talks held some weeks ago at his office, expressed sympathy of the Benue State government with all the victims of the needless violence and destruction of lives and properties.

He lamented that officials of the State Boundary Committee sent to the disputed area to resolve the matter, after their last meeting, muddled up the issue, resulting in the fresh outbreak of hostilities.

Engr. Abounu however commended the peaceful disposition and initiative of Hon. James Jirgba, the Chairman of Konshisha LGA, who he said recommended that the committee should go back to the drawing board by revisiting the resolutions reached recently at the Deputy Governor’s office for peace to reign permanently between the two communities.

Describing Jirgba as a complete gentleman and a peace loving leader, Engr. Abounu urged the victims not to resort to vengeance but rather forgive each other, adding that as people from the same state, the two communities should seek peaceful ways of resolving the crisis in order to live together.

Feature picture: Engr. Benson Abounu, Benue State Deputy Governor.

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