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Benue: 3 traditional rulers suspended over Kastina-Ala unrest

Three traditional rulers in Kastina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State have been suspended over the incessant crisis leading to several loss of lives in…

Three traditional rulers in Kastina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State have been suspended over the incessant crisis leading to several loss of lives in their domains.

Daily Trust reports that many people were killed in the area at the weekend following a disagreement which the police blamed on Ikyurav and Shitile natives.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the Benue command, DSP Catherine Anene, had put the death toll at nine after fresh killings occurred but some locals argued that, at least, 25 people were killed in the three affected villages.

Consequently, the Benue State government, Tuesday morning, suspended two 3rd Class Chiefs from Katsina-Ala, Chief Tivlumun Ubugh, Mue Ter Chongo and Chief Ayoleve Ornguga, Mue Ter Ipusu as well as the District Head of Mbacher, Chief Luke Atomigba over their alleged roles in the prolonged crisis between Shitile and Ikyurav.

In a statement, on Tuesday, by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Terver Akase, “the suspension of the chiefs followed a recommendation of the Benue State Security Council after its emergency meeting in Makurdi on Monday.”

The CPS indicated that Governor Samuel Ortom read the Council’s resolutions during a marathon meeting with stakeholders from the local government area on Monday evening.

He stated that the traditional rulers had neglected their duties and exhibited nonchalance towards efforts aimed at resolving the crisis.

“The Governor noted that the traditional rulers had instead, resorted to fuelling the crisis based on vested interests, thereby contravening the code of conduct enshrined in the Local Government and Chieftaincy Law of the State.

“The affected traditional rulers are to face a panel to be constituted by the Tor Tiv to investigate them and determine appropriate sanctions.

“According to the Governor, the Council also directed that all the District Heads from the area, who declined invitation to attend a security meeting with Tor Sankera, Chief Abu King Shuluwa, would be queried to explain why disciplinary actions should not be taken against them,” the statement reads.

Also, the council warned the Tor Sankera to be a father to all his subjects and eschew sentiments and personal interest, urging him to work with all his subjects to ensure peace in his domain.

It directed security agencies to go after criminal elements responsible for the unrest in the area and also arrest and prosecute any politician found culpable in the violence.

The governor, on his part, appealed to the people of Katsina-Ala to go about their normal businesses without fear of molestation and report suspicious elements to security operatives for prompt action.

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