Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
No fewer than 10 persons were on Thursday, feared killed and several houses burnt in renewed Tiv-Jukun clashes in Vaase community in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State.
The Special Adviser to the Benue State Governor on Security, Col. Paul Hemba, (rtd) who disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Makurdi stated that over 3,000 persons have so far been displaced and were currently taking refuge in Jootar community of Ukum LGA of the state.
Hemba who had been involved in peace talks between Benue and Taraba governments to seek ways of resolving the issue expressed worry over the fresh crisis, saying there might be more casualties as security agencies were still combing the area to recover more bodies.
“Efforts have been made by the state government to stop the crisis which started in Kente, a border town between Benue and Taraba states.
“I have traveled to the area three times in the week. The crisis started in Kente which is largely occupied by Jukun and Tiv people.
“While there, I held meetings with the Aku Uka of Wukari and the Special Adviser to Governor Darius Ishaku on Security which also had in attendance, the Tor Sankera from Benue axis, Chief Abu Shuluwa.
“It was resolved that there should cessation of hostilities to pave way for peace. But it is so sad to note that after the meeting, killings are still going on.
“I received a report that rampaging Jukun youths invaded Vaase and vandalised a lot of property, killing people.
“Maybe the resolutions have not been properly communicated to them. I also met with the Tiv youths and told them not to take the laws into their hands,” Hemba stated.
The security adviser said he was already discussing the matter with the police who he said were already making arrangements to deploy men to the area where the new attack occurred.
He, however, noted that normalcy had been restored in Kente community even as he appealed the youths from the two communities to embrace peace in the interest of development.