Nigeria: 10 Killed in Renewed Benue, Ebonyi Communal Crisis

At least 10 people have been reported killed in a renewed communal crisis between natives of Ezza and Effium in border communities of Ado Local Government Area of Benue State and Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

Witnesses said the cause for the renewed crisis, which happened on Friday, was not yet clear, but many villagers were killed in the affected areas.

The border communities within the two states recently witnessed violence, some of which were blamed on armed herders' invasion.

The chairman of Ado Local Government Area, James Oche, who confirmed the incident to journalists, said 10 people were killed in the latest disturbances in the area and urged the communities involved to sheathe their swords.

He further appealed to Ezza and Effium people to embrace peace for meaningful development to thrive among them, while he commiserated with the families of those who lost their lives.

In the same vein, the member representing Ado/Ogbadibo/Okpokwu federal constituency, Dr Francis Ottah Agbo, has raised an alarm that the internecine crisis between Effium and Ezza in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, which spilled to Ado early this year, is fast turning his constituency, particularly, Ado Local Government Area into a war zone.

Ottah, in a statement by his media adviser, Andrew Agbese, while reacting to Friday's outbreak of fresh hostilities, condemned the clash and called on the Ebonyi State Government to take urgent measures to halt the crisis, which he said had been allowed to drag for too long, causing humanitarian crisis in his constituency.

The press statement also noted that the lawmaker's alarm was contained in a letter he personally signed and addressed to the governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi.

He stated that the Benue State Government could no longer tolerate a situation where her people would remain on the receiving side of an avoidable crisis that Ebonyi State Government should have ordinarily resolved at its formative stage.

When contacted, the police public relations officer, Benue command, DSP Catherine Anene, told newsmen that she was yet to be briefed on the details of the incident.

Hope Abah Emmanuel, Makurdi & Itodo Daniel Sule, Abuja

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