Villagers in the border areas of Konshisha and Oju Local Government Areas of Benue State, Tuesday, deserted their homes following the renewed crisis over a land dispute.
Locals told our correspondent that a fresh crisis in the affected areas begun after a farmer from one of the border villages went to farm on a disputed piece of land, which had been deliberately left fallow to avert a crisis between an Okpute-Ainu community in Oju LGA and another village in Konshisha LGA.
The witnesses said that the move by the farmer was resisted by opposing villagers, a development which degenerated to verbal exchanges and sporadic gunshots in the communities affected.
“As a result, people in the areas are fleeing their homes in numbers for fear of what might happen if the crisis snowballed.
“Right now, villagers are leaving their homes.
“It is not the first time such a crisis is happening among the affected communities.
“And that was why the people of the areas agreed to avoid the disputed land so that peace will reign among them,” a witness explained.
When contacted, the Benue State Police Command’s spokesperson, DSP Catherine Anene, confirmed the development.
She, however, said that it was a mere disagreement which occurred among the villagers on the border of the two local government areas, adding that the people were only leaving their homes for fear of possible escalation of violence.
Anene denied knowledge of any gunshots in the area even as she disclosed that policemen have been sent to the areas to maintain law and order.