BENUE: Land dispute looms as community leader raises an alarm

From Austine Tule, Makurdi

There may soon be outbreak of violence conflict between the Junkuns and Isherev people of Ihyarev in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, findings by this medium have revealed.

Already, there are skirmishes leading to the death of two persons who were allegedly murdered by the Jukun militia.

The dispute, our investigation revealed is about a piece of land near the old bridge by the bank of river Benue which is being claimed by the two parties.

Leader of the Isherev community in Makurdi Pastor Tahav Bem has already raised the alarm that the continuous provocation by the Jukun, if not checked by the authorities and security agents may one day spark violence that may not be easy to control.

He stated that some persons amongst the Jukun community including one Benjamin Hassan Ebekpa, Paul Adikwu, Sani Lawal, Imam Abubakar and Ibrahim are responsible for instigating violence and sponsoring same.

“These persons I have mentioned here are trouble makers. They first started by coming at night to vandalize the railway equipment and facilities.

“When we formed vigilante to protect the facilities based on request and then an arrangement with the railways authorities, these persons now moved to become land grabbers by trying to sell parts of our ancestral lands.”

He said the Isherev community has already properly reported and gave the names of the persons provoking violence in the area to the police but wondered why most of the mentioned persons were yet to be picked for questioning.

It would be recalled that in January, two members of persons said to be security guards working on the land in question were killed and accusing fingers were directed the Jukuns who have vowed that nobody will work on the piece of land.

Though efforts to have the leader of the Jukun in Makurdi react to the issue were futile, findings at the police headquarters Makurdi have indicated that already, one Benjamin Hassan was in their custody for allegations of murder.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Kate Anene has confirmed that already, Benjamin Hassan and Sani Lawal were charged to court while the other suspects are still at large.

Hassan, findings have unravelled is a known trouble maker who has been arrested on a number of times on different criminal charges and charged to court.

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