From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Following the communal crisis that broke out between Ibilla and Ukpa Communities in Oju Local Government area of Benue State, the joint Military Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) on Sunday, rested 10 suspects, recovered 16 riffle and several ammunition in different parts of the two communities.
The two border communities were engulfed in crisis over delineation exercises being embarked upon by the National Population Commission (NPC) in the areas.
It was gathered that NPC officials of National had arrived the area to carry out delineation exercise when some members of the two communities took up arms against each other and started shooting sporadically in all directions and, destroyed several houses.
Our correspondent further gathered joint Military Troops of OPWS and troops of 72 Battalion were immediately contacted and swiftly drafted to the area and in the process arrested 10 suspects, recovered 16 firearms and 59 round of ammunition.
A source from one of the warring communities who spoke to newsmen on the condition of anonymity, said the arrival of the joint Military Troops to Ibilla and Ukpa communities brought the situation under control.
He further said that the joint troops carried out a two day condone and search operation to be able to arrest the culprits.
According to him, on the first day that the army arrived at the areas, they arrested nine people, recovered nine firearms, 59 ammunition, eight cutlasses, two axes, nine handsets and one Volkswagen.
The troops were also said to have raided the two communities on Sunday night during which they recovered seven more firearms and arrested one more suspect.
“The boys thought that the soldiers had left and had again come out in the night to wreak further attacks when the soldiers swooped on them and arrested nine of them with some arms and ammunition.”
Our source could not however tell where the suspects were taken to but our Correspondent gathered from security sources that they were moved to Makurdi for further interrogation.
When contacted, the Force Commander of OPWS, Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini declined to comment but directed our Correspondent to the Defense Headquarters Information Department.