By Jonathan Ugbal, Elijah Ugani and Ikwen Atuaka
A young Bette native, Placidus Undie is the first reported victim from the Bette side of the renewed Bette –Tiv war CrossRiverWatch authoritatively reports.
Placidus suspected to be in his mid-twenties was shot in what our correspondent says is his shoulder with the bullet seemingly penetrating his clavicle and is currently receiving treatment at a medical facility (name withheld) in Obudu.
“I went to give water to those at the ‘war front’, it was when I turned to go that I was shot from the back” Placidus told our correspondent when he visited the medical facility.
Placidus is said to be residing in Obudu urban and is the son of one “Ubig bros”.
CrossRiverWatch also gathered that there are casualties on the Tiv side also with our source yet to confirm the number.
But, some elites and local authorities in Obudu have continued to deny that there is an ongoing war with some alleging that CrossRiverWatch caused the rise in tensions.
However, Elijah Ugani reports that a team from the 130 Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Ogoja had been deployed to douse the tension with a war returnee (names withheld) telling our news editor on telephone that bloodshed was narrowly averted as the Army officers attempted to seize their weapons.
“On our way back at Girls School gate we met six Army officers who stopped us and asked us to hand over our weapons and began pushing some of our colleagues into their van.
“We got furious and demanded they head into the bush and stop the Benue people before we hand our guns over. When they resisted we began firing into the air and since we were larger in number, they retreated and released our colleagues and our guns” the person said.
CrossRiverWatch also gathered that the Divisional Police Officer of the Nigeria Police Force Obudu Division, DSP Eyong Obeten whom investigations by CrossRiverWatch revealed has directed his officers to make ‘returns’ of NGN30,000 daily had to plead with the Army officers to retreat to prevent another war.
Also, some Bette people who reportedly went to Vandeikya local government area in Benue state to shop for foodstuffs were forced to go through Gakem and Abuochiche to get back to Obudu for fear of their lives following a tip off that war had broken out with unconfirmed information suggesting that one “Iye Ukandi” (Eldest mother) left some of her wares behind in Benue state.
CrossRiverWatch had reported that the Bette community was stockpiling arms following a tip off that the Tivs in neighboring Adikpo local government area of Benue state were planning an attack which led to them laying siege for 2 days only for a full blown out war to begin Tuesday morning and when reported, drew the ire of political elites and local authorities who tried hard to “kill” the story.