Idoma and Igede people resident in Kaduna State have called on security agencies to investigate recent clashes between some communities in Obi and Otukpo local government areas of Benue State.
Their representatives, Engr. Ejoga Inalegwu and Elder Sunday Oibe who jointly signed a statement on the clashes called for investigation and deployment of more security personnel to the troubled area.
“We are saddened by the violent clashes between youths from some communities in Obi and Otukpo on March 13, resulting in loss of lives and destruction of property worth millions of naira. We condemn this primitive and lawless act in the strongest terms.
“To say the least, we are perplexed by the destruction of lives and property in the most horrifying manner over an issue that could have been resolved by the electricity company and community leaders from both sides.
“It is baffling that the Igede and their Idoma brothers could resort to the brutal attack on each other over a misunderstanding on electricity to supply,” they said.
They added that violence has never been a solution to any dispute or disagreement, rather causes pains and destroys friendship and brotherhood.
“We appeal to the youth to be calm and desist from taking the law into their hands. Trust, peace, harmony and a sense of community among the two ethnic groups has been shattered by this incident and everything must be done mend the broken relationship.
“Community, religious and political leaders from both sides must rise to the occasion by ensuring the return of peace and avoid the escalation of the violence.
“Benue State has suffered so much in the hands of invading terrorists and we cannot afford any form of communal clash at this trying moments in our lives. Igede and Idoma are brothers. Why should we resort to brutality against each other over issues that could have been amicably resolved?
“We appeal to youths from both sides to calm down and embrace peace. The state government must not allow the unfortunate incident to degenerate.
“The government should ensure the deployment of security to the affected communities to stop any attempt to escalate the situation. We also call on the state government to thoroughly investigate the incident and bring the culprits to justice to serve as a deterrent to others,” they said.