Chieftaincy tussle claims 13 lives in Benue community

At least 13 persons were, on Monday, killed in an attack on Ukpogo community in Edikwu district of Apa Local Government Area of Benue State.

The attack, according to natives was carried out by suspected armed militia gang following a prolong chieftaincy dispute in the area.

Tribune Online gathered from native that the attackers stormed the community at about 4:30 am, killed many people and left some seriously injured.

The native said that the dispute over the stool of Alegwu of Edikwu dated back to 1994 had led to persistent killings in the community by armed militia gangs allegedly hired by an aggrieved contender to the stool, (name withheld) who had been on self-exile since the dispute began.

The native who did not want his name mentioned in print alleged that the mastermind of the dispute was said to have disagreed with the choice of the kingmakers of the community who elected late Chief Imoni Otokpa as Alegwu of Edikwu before his demise in 2018.

Yesterday attack is coming just three months after the state Deputy Governor, Mr Benson Abounu, held a peace meeting with stakeholders of the community where it was agreed that the feuding parties should sheath their swords and embrace peace.

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Meanwhile, Police in Benue in a statement made available to newsmen in Makurdi said that policemen have been drafted to the troubled area.

The Command spokesperson, DSP, Catherine Anene, said that 13 corpses have been recovered so far.

According to Anene who confirmed the attack said: “Edikwu district, Ukpogbo in Apa Local Government Area of Benue State was experiencing incessant crises over chieftaincy affairs until 25/05/2020 when the Benue State Government convened a peace meeting that was headed by the Deputy Governor, Engr Benson Abounu to put an end to the rancour.

“Peace was restored to the area but on 10/8/2020 at about 04:00hrs when the information was received that about twenty armed men invaded the community and shot sporadically at members of the community.

“A team of police officers were deployed to the scene where 13 corpses were recovered. The investigation is still in progress.

Meanwhile, It was gathered the joint military operation in the state, code-named, Operation Whirl Stroke, had already drafted to the area and occupied all the trouble spots to forestall further attacks.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

Chieftaincy tussle claims 13 lives

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Chieftaincy tussle claims 13 lives

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