George Onyejiuwa, Onyejiuwa, Okey Sampson, Umuahia and Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Not fewer than 24 persons were feard killed in two separate auto crashes in Mbutu Okahia, Umuhu community in Ngor Okpala, Imo State, the other at Aba-Umuahia road in Abia and in a renewed comunal clash in Benue communities.
No fewer than 18 persons were killed in the auto crash that occurred in Mbutu Okahia. It occurred at about 1.30pm when the front tyre of a bus conveying passengers from Aba to Owerri burst.
It was learnt that the bus somersaulted four times following the burst of the front tyre before landing with to a halt, leaving all occupants dead.
The sources disclosed that officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps stationed at Mbutu Okahia Umuhu along the Owerri-Aba road evacuated the remains of the passengers to the morgue.
Three persons died while several others were injured in another crash involving van and a trailer on the old Aba–Umuahia highway, Abia State.
It was gathered that the van with registration number: EZA 826 YF conveying wood and other roofing equipment rammed into a trailer loaded with cement at the Ntigha/Umuaro junction leading to Akwa Ibom state.
The trailer driver coming from the Ntigha/Umuaro road was said to be negotiating to the old Aba -Umuahia highway when the crash occurred.
Policemen from the Eastern Ngwa Division later conveyed the dead to the mortuary while sympathisers took the injured to the hospital.
In Benue State, six people were feared killed, many others injured and several houses burnt in a renewed hostilities between Bonta community in Konshisha and Ukpute community in Oju Local Government Areas of Benue State on Sunday.
In Makurdi, sources told newsmen that most members of the two warring communities had last week deserted their homes following renewed crisis bothering on issues of land.
It was learnt that trouble started in the affected border communities after a farmer from one of the villages went to farm on a disputed piece of land which had been deliberately left to fallow to forestall crisis between an Ukpute-Ainu, an Igede speaking community in Oju LGA and another Bonta village in Tiv speaking Konshisha LGA.
However, it was gathered that the move by the farmer did not go down well with oppossing villagers, a development which degenerated to verbal exchanges and then into exchange of gunfire in the affected communities.
Although, the matter was said to have been quickly brought under control following a peace meeting between the two communities, it was gathered that some aggrieved members of the communities instigated the latest crisis at the weekend.
Reacting, yesterday, traditional Head of Konshisha, Ter Kyor, Thomas Jam, described the incident as unfortunate especially as it was happening again while elders of the two communities were trying to broker peace among the parties involved.
The monarch who spoke by telephone to newsmen in Makurdi disclosed that he had already contacted the district head of the affected area and reported the matter to Tor Tiv who directed that the perpetrators of the crisis be fished out and made to fave the wrath of the law.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene, who confirmed fresh crisis the areas said normalcy had returned to the communities as the police immediately brought the trouble under control.