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Fresh violence erupts in Benue

20 January 2014, 14:00

Makurdi - The Police in Benue on Sunday confirmed a fresh outbreak of hostilities between some Fulani herdsmen and Tiv farmers at Adaka village in Makurdi Local Government Area.

Daniel Ezeala, the command’s Public Relations Officer, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makurdi that renewed fighting between farmers and herdsmen broke out in the early hours of Sunday.

NAN recalls that the herdsman and the farmers had engaged in fierce fighting in November over the destruction of farms by cattle reared by the Fulani men.

During the hostilities, people were wounded and farmlands and houses were destroyed, causing severe cases of displacement.

In the fresh fight, Ezeala said that the reasons were not yet clear, but assured that enough police officers had been deployed in the area to quell the crisis.

He said investigation into the incident had commenced.

He said that details of the disturbance, including the magnitude of the destruction, would be made known as soon as the investigation was concluded.

A NAN correspondent, who went to the area, reports that hundreds of displaced villagers were taking refuge in houses near the Makurdi/Naka Express Road, while some were seen under trees along the highway.

A 70-year old displaced farmer, Samuel Ugba, said he heard shooting in the village (Adaka) at about 5.00 am, but thought it was coming from security agencies deployed to keep the peace in the area.

He said that it was when the shooting continued that he suspected that there was a problem and fled with his entire household of two wives and 17 children from the village.

Ugba said that his family had no place to go and therefore called on the state government to immediately provide resettlement centres to the displaced people to reduce their hardship.

Another displaced person, Blessing Asoo, a mother of three, said that she had to flee with her children from the village when she heard the gunshots.

Asoo expressed regret that they escaped hurriedly, saying  that she failed to carry some food items and other essentials to sustain her and the children.

She appealed to the government to intervene in the crisis to enable them to return to their homes.

-  NAN

Tags benue

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