By CrossRiverWatch Admin
No fewer than four are feared dead in a renewed crisis between Bishiri communities in Obanliku local government area of Cross River State and Mbakunu community of Kwande local government area of Benue state.
The renewed crisis began on Friday a native of Bishiri told CrossRiverWatch.
“We own that land. We allowed herders to settle there and recently we discovered that the Tivs attacked, chased them away and had begun settling there. We approached them for dialogue and the shot one of our sons,” said a Bishiri native who gave his name as Mr. Okono.
The person shot is said to have been taken to the neighboring Busi community for treatment.
This is said to have angered the six Bishiri villages who mobilized, engaged and chased the Tivs. As a retaliatory action, the Tiv authorities brought in the police and Army who repelled the Bishiri natives with one reportedly dead from that action and several others injured. At least three Tivs are feared dead too.
The corpse of the Bishiri native is said to have been taken by the Mbakunu natives.
A detachment of soldiers from the Brigadier Godwin Ally cantonment in Ogoja were drafted in but Okono said they left the scene almost immediately after they convinced the Bishiri natives to ceasefire; a situation which left the natives angry.
Asides lives lost, properties and farmlands worth millions of Naira have been destroyed in the ensuing hostilities with Mr. John Iorguma, a Tiv told DAILYPOST Newspapers that they are currently taking refugee in neighboring communities.
Iorguma said they suspected their assailants were hired mercenaries engaged by herders.
The chairman of Kwande local government area, Tertsuagh Yaakwan also told DAILYPOST that the corpses of the three victims have been deposited at the mortuary in Adikpo the council headquarters while survivors who were badly wounded were evacuated and being treated of multiple injuries at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital.
He also made a passionate appeal to Federal Government to implement the decision of the national boundaries commission concerning the two parties with a view to finding a lasting solution.
He implored the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to provide relief materials to those displaced as result of the attack so as to cushion the effect on the victims.
When contacted the Police Public relations officer (PPRO) of Benue Command, DSP Sewuese Catherine Anene, confirmed the incident and further informed that the CP Mukaddas Garba has drafted his men to scene with aim of maintaining law and order in the disputed areas.
The border crisis has lingered over the years with negative effects on both communities.
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