Vanguard (Lagos)

31 January 2013

Nigeria: Fulani Herdsmen, Idoma Clash Displaces 550 in Benue

Makurdi — NO fewer than 550 persons were reportedly displaced by the bloody conflict that broke out between Fulani herdsmen and Idoma farmers at Amla Village in Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue State.

Chairman of Otukpo Local Government Area, Dr. Innocent Onuh, made this known, yesterday, while conducting newsmen round the affected areas and the displaced persons' camps in Otukpo.

Onuh said: "The total number of persons displaced by the crisis is a little over 550, and out of this number, children are over 150, while women are about 50. We have provided them a makeshift camp here in Otukpo, and we have been able to provide them with relief materials to ease their problems pending further assistance.

"We have also ensured that security was beefed up in the entire community consequent upon the decisions we reached at the council's security meeting on Monday. Aside that, we have also directed security personnel to embark on a man hunt of all those behind the crisis in order to ensure that they were made to face justice."

Appealing to public spirited individuals, non-governmental organisations, as well as the federal and Benue State governments for assistance, Onuh however, urged the belligerent communities to maintain peace as the government was on top of the situation.

Responding, the Ardoo (Chief) of Fulanis in Otukpo, Alhaji Isah Sule who lost a 15 year old son during the crisis said he had taken the development in good fate and thanked the Chairman and the police for quickly stepping into the matter to avert further blood shed.

Also in his remarks, the paramount ruler of Otukpo, (Ochi Otukpo), Chief John Enyimonye said, "This type of unfortunate crisis is strange in this part of the state; but I plead that we all take what has happened in good faith and ensure that peace reigns amongst us."

Some of the relief materials donated to the victims included bags of guinea corn, bags of maize, rice; mats, blankets, mattresses, and satchets of water.

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