Chieftaincy Tussle: 13 Feared Dead in Benue

No fewer than 13 residents of Edikwu, Ugbokpo community in Apa local government area of Benue State have been killed in an early morning attack by unknown gunmen alleged to have been hired by a defeated aggrieved contender to the stool of the Alegwu of Edikwu.

The police public relations officer (PPRO) DSP Catherine Anene who confirmed the killings informed that over 20 hoodlums invaded the community at about 4am yesterday shooting sporadically at all directions killing 13 people on the spot with many others sustaining various degree of injuries.

Anene disclosed that already a team of police officers has been deployed to the scene, and so far 13 corpses have been
recovered adding that Investigation is still in progress.

Also confirming the killing the Alegwu of Edikwu, Chief Otokpa David Imoni who spoke to our correspondent disclosed that the hoodlums have killed over 30 persons.

According to him, the said man disagreed with the choice of the kingmakers of the community who elected late Chief Imoni Otokpa as Alegwu of Edikwu before his demise in 2018. He said that the son of late Imoni Otokpa is the acting Alegwa of Edikwu, presently.

It was also gathered that latest attack on the community came just three months after the state deputy governor, Mr. Benson Abounu on behalf of Governor Samuel Ortom presided over a peace meeting of stakeholders of the community where it was agreed that feuding parties should sheath their swords and embrace peace.

Chief Otokpa David Imoni said the aggrieved contender had declared war on his people with the active support of some local politicians and had overtime sent armed militia to attack his people to compel them to accept him as the traditional ruler even after taking the matter to court.

He said, “The present one took place this morning when hooded gun wielding militiamen entered Ukpogbo community at about 4:30am and began to shoot anything that showed sign of life. 30 dead bodies were
already found after their departure around 6:00am.” It was gathered the Commander Of the Joint Military Operation in the state, Operation Whirl Stroke, Major Gen. Adeyemi Yekini had already deployed troops in the affected area to forestall further attacks.

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