The houses burnt
The Chairman of Ukum local government area of Benue state Hon. Tor-Tyokaa Ibellogo yesterday raised the alarm over continued killings and destruction of property in the area by Jukun militia, NewTelegraph has reported.
He disclosed that since the crisis broke up, no fewer than fifteen persons have been killed while properties worth millions of naira have also been destroyed by the armed Jukun militia.
The council chairman told journalists that places affected by the crises include Tse Atsenga, Igbongom, Ayali village, and New City, a community occupied by displaced persons owing to attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
Hon. Ibellogo also accused the Fulani militias of colluding with their Jukun counterpart to unleash mayhem on his people, adding that people who made attempts to return were been attacked by the armed Fulanis.
He said he had met with his Wukari local government counterpart to dialogue on how the crisis could be nipped in the bud, but that the meeting deadlocked as the Jukun militias still stormed the area shooting sporadically, a development that forced all his people to scamper for safety.
According to him, a follow-up meeting was held at the Palace of the paramount ruler of the Jukun, the Aku Uka with both council chairmen in the affected areas in attendance where he said a ceasefire agreement was reached.
The local government chairman expressed disappointment that the Jukuns who were part of the peace deal would renage and continue to attack Benue communities at the border areas leading to wanton killings and destruction of properties.
He said already, there is a humanitarian situation owing to the displacement of about 10, 000 persons.
He lamented that the attack has come when farmers are supposed to be planting their crops, saying such a situation is capable of causing food crises in the state and the country at large.
He appealed to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to complement the efforts of the state government to help the victims with a view to alleviating their suffering.