By Amos Aar
VIOLENT clashes on Tuesday erupted between Ukpute Community of Oju LGA and Bonta Community of Konshisha LGA, all in Benue State, with fighters on both sides sustaining serious injuries while properties worth millions of naira were reportedly destroyed.
While National Record could not independently ascertain the immediate cause of the renewed violence or which of the communities first launched attack on the other, when contacted, the leadership of both local government councils traded blames by accusing the opposing community of first launching attack.
The chairman of Konshisha local government council, Hon. James Jirgba, told National Record in a telephone interview that some youths from Oju first launched attack on Konshisha people “in the early hours of Tuesday, March 9, 2021. He said they sustained the attack till 5pm, machetted two people, burnt houses, abducted a 15-year Tiv boy and destroyed properties.
But when contacted via phone for his comments, the Chairman of Oju local government council, Hon. Clement Onaa, said the attack was first launched by some youths from Bonta Community of Konshisha who machetted a young man, one Mr Ego Ogbu, from Obotu in Ukpa/Ainu-Ette Council Ward of Oju LGA.
Hon Onaa said the injured young man was rushed to the General Hospital in Oju along with several others reported to have sustained various degrees of injury.
The Oju council chairman said the incident was immediately reported at a nearby police station in Oju LGA and that the police came to the scene to confirm the crisis. He added that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) had told him that the police were on top of the situation and that he was liaising with the traditional rulers in the area to plead with the warring youths to withdraw from the bush.
Efforts by our correspondent to speak with the Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Catherine Sewuse Anene, failed as she neither picked his calls nor responded to text messages sent to her to confirm and provide details of the clash.