At least 10 people have lost their lives in a renewed communal crisis between natives of Ezza and Effium in boundary villages in Benue State’s Ado Local Government Area and Ebonyi State’s Ohaukwu Local Government Area.
Several villagers were killed in the affected areas as a result of Friday’s renewed crisis, according to witnesses on the ground.
James Oche, chairman of Ado Local Government Area, confirmed to journalists on the telephone in Makurdi that 10 people were killed in the latest disturbances in the areas, and urged the communities involved to sheath their swords.
According to Oche, the renewed hostility among the villagers had undervalued the peace his administration was working so hard to achieve.
Further, he appealed to the Ezza and Effium people to embrace peace for meaningful development to flourish among them, while sympathizing with the families of those who lost their lives.
Moreover, he said they rescued three out of five persons believed to have been abducted by suspected armed kidnappers in Ado LGA with the help of the newly formed Community Volunteer Guards.
The rescue followed their earlier kidnap by armed bandits, who positioned themselves on the road between Utonkon in Ado LGA and Okpoga in Okpokwu LGA on Thursday after intercepting a Lagos-bound commercial vehicle and taking five hostages.
In Ado Local Government, the newly formed Community Volunteer Guards and the Operation Puff Adder Police Unit defeated a group of kidnappers and secured the release of three of five people kidnapped,” Oche noted.
DSP Catherine Anene, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the Benue Command, told newsmen that she has yet to be briefed on the details of the incident.