.cult clash

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

Three persons were, yesterday, reportedly abducted and two houses razed in a protracted communal dispute between Ihyarev and Kparev communities in Tyo Mu village on the outskirts of Makurdi Local Government Area of Benue State.

The crisis, which has lingered over disputed land in the village had over time led to the burning down of houses and property belonging to the feuding parties.

It was gathered from a source in the area that the fresh crisis erupted in the community after three Kparev youths were allegedly abducted by Ihyarev youths, which sparked angry protests and threats of reprisal.

He said: “The problem in Tyo Mu has been that of settlers and indigenous people. The Ihyarev people are the indigenes while the Kparev are the settlers. But they have been on each other over the years leading to killings and burning down of houses.

“The current administration has made serious efforts to find a lasting solution to the matter and everyone was cooperating until this latest crisis that erupted Wednesday night till Thursday morning when three Kparev youths were allegedly abducted by Ihyarev youths, which sparked angry protest and the burning of houses.

“The Kparev youths also took over the busy Makurdi-Gboko Road, threatening reprisal if their youths were not produced alive by their abductors.”

Confirming the development, Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Lt. Col. Paul Hemba (retd), said: “Though we received the information this morning, of course, Tyo Mu has been a crisis area for a long time.

“The two communities have been on each others’ throats for a long time and the state government also set up a committee headed by the Secretary to the State Government to look into the problem. The committee is now at the point of submitting its report to the governor, but all of a sudden we heard that three persons were abducted and two houses burnt. 

“The Kparev community whose people were abducted came out this morning (yesterday) to protest and in the process blocked the Makurdi-Gboko road to probably draw the attention of the government to the issue.

“But as we talk, I have invited their leaders to my office and we are discussing to resolve the issue. And the blocked road has also been opened for vehicular movements.”

Contacted, Police Public Relations Officer, Catherine Anene confirmed the development.

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