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HomeMurderScores Dead As Benue, C’River Communities Clash Over Boundary

Scores Dead As Benue, C’River Communities Clash Over Boundary

Tragedy struck on Sunday as over seven persons were killed in a clash between the Tiv people of Benue State and indigenous people of the Yache community in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State.

It was gathered that the people of the two communities were fighting over boundary and farmlands when the incident happened.

Over 15 houses were set ablaze while 10 persons, including women, from both sides were seriously injured in the ensuing faceoff between the youths.

While many still live in the community in fear, a lot of residents are reported to have fled despite security agency’s presence.

Explaining the reason for yesterday’s killing, a community leader in Yache, Augustine Odey Adula, said they were in a church service when pandemonium ensued.

“A few of our youths went to enquire from the Tiv settlers why they have refused to pay royalties as usual for settling on our lands. The TIv people seized one of our youths, beat him to stupor, and he died instantly.

“Of course, that triggered a reprisal. But they were prepared. They attacked and killed seven of our people and burnt 15 houses,” Adula alleged.

He said the Tiv people had been paying royalties on the land but decided to stop.

Secretary of Yala and Cross River North Elders Forum, Barrister Leonard Anyogo, himself a Yache, also confirmed the killing in an interview.

He disclosed that the two deputy governors from both states had earlier met in the same community, where they appealed for peace while they handled the issue.

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Anyogo explained that there has not been a clear-cut boundary demarcation, adding that the Tiv had settled on the land.

He said the land in dispute was actually where the boundary of the then Southern and Northern Protectorates was, which was a Yache land.

He also confirmed that the state government and security agencies have waded into the matter.

State police command PRO Irene Ugbo said she had not received an official report, adding that the command would hold a security meeting shortly.

Meanwhile, a pro-Biafra separatist group, Black Marine, has been reportedly dislodged by Cameroonian troops.

It was gathered that the group, which was from Abana town, the former capital of Bakassi Peninsula, was sent packing on Sunday.

Eyewitnesses disclosed that Cameroon’s Rapid d’intervention Battalions (BIR) also recaptured Abana from the pro Biafra militants.

It was gathered that authorities in Cameroon had deployed more troops to Isangele subdivision. The troops have reportedly surrounded the town, including the residential quarters of oil companies.

The rebel group was reported to have engaged the troops in a gunfire in Abana sometime ago.

One Henry Edet, identified as an operational coordinator of Biafra National League, BNL, was quoted to have urged the Black Marine to retreat in Abana. Black Marine is said to be an arm of BNL.

Few days ago, the BIR troops launched airstrikes at Ine Mba forest in Idabato subdivision of Bakassi Peninsula, targeting Black Marine militants.

It was learnt that the militant group clashed with troops of the Joint Border Forces of Nigeria and Cameroon in the Gulf of Guinea.

Eyewitnesses confirmed that about two helicopters dropped explosives in the area, destroying the militant camps.

However, no life was lost in the clash, according to the eyewitnesses.

 

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