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4 killed in Benue communal clash



Four people were allegedly killed in a renewed crisis between Okpudu and Ollo communities of Okpowku Local Government Area of Benue State.

But, the Police Command  in the state said nobody died in the crisis, insisting that normalcy hasbeen restored to the two communities.

Clashes between the two communities, Daily Sun gathered, had been age-long, with no end in sight; despite several efforts by Idoma leaders to resolve the issue.

It was gathered that the crisis began following a misunderstanding between some youths of the two communities which resulted in the abduction of two Okpudu youths by some members of the  Ollo youths on Sunday evening.

A source from the community who pleaded anonymity disclosed that  some Ollo youths who dressed in military uniforms and armed with guns had stormed Okpudu community on motorcycles and ordered two youths of the community to follow them.

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The source  further stated that when the abducted Okpudu youths were not seen 24 hours after, Okpudu youths mobilised and stormed Ollo community to demand for their release.

However, in the ensuing fracas, four persons were reportedly killed with some others injured as sounds of gunshots resonated all around the community.

The development made members of the community to scamper for safety.

Thereafter,  the Okpudu youths were said to have  stormed Ollo community in their attempts at avoiding a repeat of similar incident a few years back.

Two youths of the community who were  then abducted by Ollo youths, were later killed and buried in shallow grave.

However, few hours after Okpudu youths stormed Ollo, it was gathered that the Okpudu youths who were earlier abducted on Sunday were released after they were thoroughly beaten leaving wounds all over their bodies.

At the time of filing this report, members of the two warring communities were said to be fleeing the area even as local vigilante have taken over major roads leading into  the two communities to forestall any form of reprisal.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Catherine Anene debunked claims of any killing in the fracas.

She explained that the problems actually started when the family of a woman from one of the communities insisted that she must not marry from the other community but she went ahead and married there.

This, she said, infuriated her family who went to the other community and forcefully abducted some persons, a development which angered the other community.

“This other community from where those people were abducted also went and abducted people from the other community too. The police wade into the matter and all abducted persons were released while normalcy has since restored to the two communities,” Anene said.


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