No fewer than 20 persons have been feared killed on Sunday, Oct. 29, in a renewed clash between the people of Yache-Ijiegu community in Yala LGA of Cross River State and the Tiv settlers from Benue State.
Both communities have suffered losses over lingering boundary clashes.
Women and children are feared reported to be among the casualties. Many sustained gunshot wounds and machete cuts.
Also houses belonging to people from both sides were reportedly set ablaze.
A source in Yache, Augustine Odey, said the hostilities resumed on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 26, when their son, Ayeku Godwin Ochuole, went to his farm, and Tiv assailants allegedly attacked and killed him.
The incident allegedly resulted in the abduction of, at least, nine other persons who suffered various degrees of bullet wounds.
The violent boundary clashes started about two months ago when the Tiv settlers allegedly refused to continue the payments of royalties for their stay on Yache lands (read here).
The Tiv settlers have claimed that they were being extorted forcibly by the natives, and that they have no other place to call their own, having settled there for over 100 years, intermarried and own properties.
Augustine Odey, a youth leader in Yache has blamed the governments of both states for being idle over the renewed killings and insecurity in Yache.
He also alleged that apart from the soldiers sent to keep the peace, they have proofs that other “armed soldiers” moved with the Tiv settlers to unleash mayhem against them.
“The Cross River State and Benue State governments have continued to act like toothless bulldogs, allowing their citizens to die in a crisis they should have put an end to.
“The latest of the attacks resumed on Thursday through Sunday when the Tiv people of Benue State, accompanied by the military, successfully penetrated the Ijiegu-Yache Community and shot at Ijiegu people who went to farm. This resulted in the gruesome killing of an indigene of Ijiegu-Yache.”
Reacting, one of the commanders of the security team, who gave his name as Lt. Alex as well as Lt. H. J. Enoibor, explained that they have tried their best to ensure peace return to Yache but, “Yache boys constantly indulge in attacks.”
He continued: “The Tivs have listened to us by restraining.
“They killed one of my men yesterday, and I had to frown at it. The Yache boys would even move to the other side of Benue State, where soldiers are also keeping watch to attack.
“They have made our peace efforts difficult. We had thought we wouldn’t be here up to two weeks, but it’s going to months now. They should know that war is not good at all. Yache cannot withstand the Tivs.
“We have scheduled to hold a joint peace meeting with all stakeholders on Wednesday, hoping that it will finally bring about an amicable settlement.”Share this story to friends