Two injured, houses burnt as Tiv, Jukun clash in Benue


Two people were critically injured and several houses were burnt down during clashes between the Tivs and Jukuns on Wednesday.
The incident according to the Punch newspaper, happened at a riverside beside a rice mill around a New Bridge at Wurukum in Makurdi, Benue state capital.
The crisis was said to have made a traditional ruler run to an unknown place to escape the wrath of rampaging youths, as his palace was also set ablaze.
It was gathered that the fish pond triggered the crisis between the two communities.
Chairman of Makurdi Local Government, Anthony Dyegeh, who confirmed the incident on the phone said that two people were injured.
“The problem is because of the small river beside Rice Mill down the New Bridge, Wurukum; that river which is separated from the main river. You know it’s a fish pond and every year, people fish from there and get a lot of money.
“So, it is the cause of the crisis today. But no life was lost. Two persons were injured. The mother of one of the injured persons is even from the Tiv side.
“Some houses were also burnt. The traditional ruler’s house was also torched. That is the situation. But we are here with men of the Nigerian Army, police, Civil Defense and other security agencies”, the chairman said.
Dyegeh who said the situation had been put under control, said security operatives were at the time of this report, trying to meet and resolve the crisis.
He said further that, “We have called for a meeting between the two communities. We are waiting for the traditional ruler from the Tiv side who ran to an undisclosed location after his house was torched.
“So, we are waiting for him to come so that we can discuss and bring back peace in the area. The situation is calm in the area right now. As I speak with you, we are deliberating.
“The Chief from the Jukun side, Chief Nuhu, is also here and we are waiting for the Chief from the Tiv side to come so that we can discuss with the youths.
“We have asked each side to bring five youths each so that we can discuss with them. Afterwards, we will ask them to continue with the peace while we schedule for a meeting whereby traditional rulers and stakeholders of the Tiv and Jukun in Makurdi will sit together and then discuss to see how they can continue to relate harmoniously again.”
When contacted, the spokesperson of Benue State Police Command, Catherine Anene, said she was gathering facts on the incident from officers on ground.


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