From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Several people have been feared killed in a renewed communal crisis between Ochoro and Bonta communities of Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State.
It would be recalled that sometimes in April, this year, the Bonta-Okpute crisis escalated resulting in the killing of 12 soldiers who were deployed to the area to maintain peace and order.
This eventually led to the military sacking Bonta and adjourning communities to recover arms of the murdered soldiers.
There had been normalcy in the area after then until this fresh crisis on Ochoro, a neighbouring village on Monday in which local sources alleged that over 30 persons including children and women were killed.
Also, our sources who did not want to be named claimed that 50 houses were also burnt in the crisis.
“Over 30 women and kids were massacred. And over 50 houses were razed. Ochoro is neighboring community of Bonta and Ukpute. It is a community in Oju that has no issue with neither Bonta nor the militia.”
When contacted by telephone, Chairman of Oju LGA, Clement Ona, said although he was aware of the crisis, it didn’t happen in his council but in Konshisha LGA.
“The attack of yesterday (Tuesday) was not in Oju but Konshisha, though, Ochoro community is dominated by Igede people. One thing you must know is that Oju and Obi people who are of Igede live in Gwer East and even Konshisha LGAs or any other Tiv areas.”
On his part, Council Chairman of Konshisha, James Ijirgba, confirmed the fresh crisis on his council but added that he was awaiting full briefing by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in the area.
“I’m aware of the crisis but it is still a rumour until I hear from the DPO who promised to get details and brief me but I have not heard from him, you know that the place is far from the LG headquarters.”
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Benue, DSP Catherine Anene said she was yet to be briefed on the crisis.