A communal clash has erupted in Benue state over a failure in electricity supply between Ijegwu and Ojantele youths at the border of Obi and Otukpo Local Government Areas. Three persons have been killed, and several houses have been razed to the ground. The clash has forced the governor to deploy security personnel to the area to forestall further violence.
The Special Adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom on security, Lt. Col. Paul Hembah (Rtd), has expressed disappointment over the situation. He wonders why the Igede people of Obi and Otukpo people, who have shared boundaries, culture affinities, and inter-marriages, would allow a minor issue of public power failure to lead to serious crises that would result in loss of lives and destruction of properties.
Col. Hembah has warned against the spread of rumors on social media, especially the false allegation that the Idoma people of Otukpo are going house to house killing any identified Igede persons. He has called on youths from both communities to embrace peace and refrain from violence.
The Governor’s special adviser has also held meetings with stakeholders in the affected LGs to seek a peaceful resolution. Additionally, he has sought information from the Jos Electricity Distribution Company to determine whether the transformer is not enough for the two LGs. However, the business manager confirmed that the transformer was okay. Col. Hembah assures residents that security personnel have been drafted to the area to ensure calm and free movement of commuters.