Soldiers arrest 10 over Benue communal crisis | Dailytrust

Soldiers arrest 10 over Benue communal crisis

Soldiers of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) have arrested 10 suspects over the communal crisis, which broke out between Ibilla and Ukpa Communities of Oju Local Government Areas of Benue State.

The troops were also said to have recovered weapons from members of the two warring communities who are fighting over a delineation exercise embarked upon by the National Population Commission (NPC) in the area.

A team of NPC officials had barely arrived in the border communities to do their duty when the locals known to be nursing an age-long land dispute out of suspicion took up arms against each other and started shooting sporadically, injuring themselves and burning many houses.

Local sources said following the violence, soldiers of OPWS and 72 Battalion in Makurdi were drafted to the vicinity to restore calm during which the 10 people were arrested.

The locals, however, admitted that sanity has returned to Ibilla and Ukpa following the presence of security operatives who throughout the weekend condoned and searched the area to apprehend the culprits, noting that the suspects may have been taken to Makurdi for further interrogation.

Contacted, the OPWS Force Commander, Major General, Adeyemi Yekini, declined comments as he urged our correspondent to seek clarification from the media office of the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.

Meanwhile, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene, said she was not yet aware of the arrests made by the soldiers but confirmed that the police arrested four persons in the area while investigation is still in progress.

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