By Peter Duru
Makurdi – Many were feared dead, scores injured, houses and huts have also been reportedly razed in a renewed multiple communal clash in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue state over disputed fish pond and farmland.
Vanguard gathered Monday from a member of Agstu Local Government Executive Council, who spoke on condition of anonymity that the crisis which dates several years back had led to killings and destruction of property in the affected communities in time past.
According to him, “as I speak with you Agatu is on fire, there is heavy gun battle going on and they have killed several persons, houses have been burnt and people are fleeing their homes in their numbers for safety.
“The issue is centered over the ownership of farmland and fish pond. Agbaduma which is the majority clan is being attacked. So what we have on ground at the moment is that three minority clans have join forces to fight the Agbaduma people who are the majority clan.
“The Egba, Abogbe and Ologba people have all teamed up to hire militia groups to attack Agbaduma people who have their ancestral home in Okokolo. The entire community has been sacked and many houses are on fire as we speak.
“Regrettably, this dispute over the ownership of farmland and fish pond in the area has been a sources of crisis among the people and efforts were made to have it resolved but the leaders of these communities have refused to embrace peace.
“Today the issue resurfaced again and the people have resorted to engaging the services of armed militia to kill perceived enemies and destroyed the entire community and villages.”
When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Deputy Superintendent, DSP, Catherine Anene, said the command was yet to get details of the crisis.