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Over 30 women, kids killed, 50 houses razed in fresh Benue State communal crisis

Many people have been killed in a fresh communal crisis between Ochoro and Bonta communities of Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State.

In April, the military had sacked Bonta community following the killing of 12 soldiers who went to quell crisis in the area.

There was a bit of stability after the military invasion.

But a fresh rivalry broke out between Bonta and Ochoro, a neighbouring community, two days ago.

About 50 houses were reportedly razed in the crisis.

Witnesses from both sides of the warring communities admitted that the crisis broke out on Monday and escalated on Tuesday night.

A witness from Konshisha told our correspondent that the renewed crisis could be an offshoot of the age-long rift between Bonta and Ukpute.

“The lingering Bonta-Ukpute crisis escalated on Monday at Ochoro with Tiv militia attacking the community.”

“Over 30 women and kids 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.”

However, the Chairman of Oju LGA, Clement Onaa, told newsmen in Makurdi, the state capital, that he was aware of the crisis and had called his Konshisha colleague to commiserate with him.

“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.”

The Council Chairman of Konshisha, James Ijirgba, also confirmed the fresh crisis to journalists.

“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, however, did not respond to calls put through her telephone.

This story first appeared in Daily Trust,

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