Renewed Communal Clash: Lawyers Beg Ortom to Deploy Security Personnel to Minimise Further Suffering

Benue Map

FOLLOWING the renewed hostilities between Bonta and Ukpute, two neighbouring communities of Konshisha and Oju local government areas of Benue State, a group, Conflict Zone Lawyers, has sent a Save-Our-Soul (SOS) message to Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom to quickly intervene by deploying security personnel to the area to minimise suffering and further loss of lives.

Governor Ortom

A statement by the President of Conflict Zone Lawyers, John Owulo Esq, made available to National Record on Wednesday evening, pleaded with the state government to “put an immediate end to the invasion of Ukpute Community in Oju Local Government of Benue State by the Bonta militia and their collaborators by deploying security personnel to the conflict area.”

Mr Owulo said the group believes that the deployment of security personnel minimise further loss of lives, destruction of property and mass suffering of the displaced, especially women and children.

“It will also send the needed signal to the militia who have acted with impunity by repeatedly frustrating government’s effort at restoring peace through boundary demarcation and had gotten away with it.

“Government’s silence in the face of serial violations of its instructions, initiatives and the on-going fighting has potential for misreading or other conclusions.

“We believe a robust security presence in the conflict area will not only bring to an end the unfolding tragedy but will serve as a deterrent to trouble makers or violators of peace agreements,” Owulo stated.

He added that against the backdrop of the frequency and scope of destruction occasioned by the protracted conflict, the Benue State Government should, as a matter of urgency, “put in place ways, means and processes that could lead to the establishment of a permanent security post between Ukpute and Bonta communities.”

Reports indicate that renewed violence erupted on Monday, June 14, 2021 when the regrouped Bonta militia, apparently unsatisfied with the terms and conditions of peace brokered by the Benue State government invaded Ukpute.

Since then, there have been reports of alleged killings by the Bonta militia of particularly women and children.

The same communal conflict had earlier this year snowballed into the killing of an Army Captain and eleven soldiers by the same Bonta militia, a situation which led to the invasion of Bonta and some communities by troops in search of those behind the killing of the soldiers.

Related stories:

Violence Erupts in Renewed Oju-Konshisha Communal Crisis

Bloody Oju-Konshisha Communal Clash Caused by Decades-Old Land Dispute

Bloody Oju-Konshisha Communal Clash Caused by Decades-Old Land Dispute

Bloody Oju-Konshisha Communal Crisis: Group Blames Ortom for Escalation, Calls on Igede Appointees to Quit Cabinet

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

Soldiers’ Murder in Benue: We’re Disappointed, Not Discouraged – Defence Minister

Soldiers’ Murder: Benue Hands Over Konshisha Deputy Chairman, District Head, 2 Others to Police


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