BYÂ PETER DURU
MAKURDI – The bloody conflict raging between the Nyiev and Uyough communities of Kwande local government area of Benue State has taken a turn for the worst as the death toll has hit over 14 while the two warring communities have been completely sacked and close to 3,000 persons already displaced.
According to eyewitness account, the fighting that was sparked off by a dispute over a parcel of land has intensified despite the fortification of police presence in the affected areas.
Our source disclosed that the situation has been worsened by the decision of the feuding communities to engage well armed militia to prosecute the conflict thereby escalating the already horrible situation on ground.
Already, neighboring villages and communities have had to contend with influx of displaced persons who have lost valuables, huts and houses that have all been reduced to rubles.
It was also disclosed that huge farmlands and economic trees have not been spared by the rampaging fighters who have also touched the country homes of prominent indigenes in the area.
According to our source, â€œthe situation at the moment in the two communities is pathetic becauseÂ fighting is getting out of control especially with the heavy use of dangerous weaponsâ€.
â€œAnd unfortunately the entire communities have been deserted and left desolate while some of displaced persons have found shelter in neighboring communities where there are no facilities to cater for the them â€.
â€œThe worst hit in this senseless conflict that has defiled all solutions are the women and children who are at the mercy of the rampaging fighters and in dire need of relief materialsâ€, he said.
Vanguard gathered that this renewed hostilities could continue unabated given that both parties to the disputed parcel of land continued to lay claim to the territory despite efforts by government to make them see reasons.
It was also gathered that the Uyough and Nyiev community crisis which dates back to over 80 years ago has become an albatross and recurrent decimal in the history of Kwande local government and Benue State.
Source also disclosed that attempts by the current Council Chairman of Kwande, Mr. Terlumun Akputu to put an end to the age long dispute, by initiating boundary demarcation between the two communities failed to yield any positive result due to the disagreement by the warring communities thereby foreclosing possible chances of bringing the parties to a round table.
Meanwhile, the State Police Command has stated that it has reinforced its presence in the communities though sources hinted that the police might find it difficult to police the area due to the topography of the affected communities.