16th March, 2012
Benue State Police Command Thursday arrested 18 persons in connection with Wednesday’s clash between the Minda (inhabitants of the land) and Kparev (settlers) in Agbougboul village in Makurdi, Benue State capital.
Several houses were burnt during the communal clash in the northcentral region of Nigeria.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Ejike Alaribe, who disclosed this on phone, also said police men have been deployed to the area to maintain peace and order.
“We are on top of the situation. Our men have been deployed to the area to ensure that peace is restored to the area while investigation is ongoing to unravel the cause of the crisis”, Ejike said.
Speaking to P.M.NEWS , Rev Fr. Ferdinand Iornyume, the priest in charge of St Joseph Catholic Mission, Agbougboul Ujamato, Makurdi said the crisis dates back to 2004 when the Minda people told their Tiv speaking kith and kin from Vandeikya axis of the state to quit the area and go back to their own homeland .
This crisis, according to him, has generated a lot of bad blood because the Kparev were the first to settle in the area, before the Minda now rose up to tell them to leave the area.
The current skirmishes, according to Father Iornyume, started when a young man of the Kparev stock was kidnapped by Minda.
This led to a break down of law and order, leading to the destruction of several property worth millions of naira including 15 thatched houses, just as many persons are seeking refuge in the church and neighboring villages.
He added that clashes between the communities have become frequent and appealed to the government to find a lasting solution to the crisis.
—Ubong George / Makurdi