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Warring Benue communities agree to embrace peace

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By Henry Iyorkase, Makurdi. 

Leaders of the crisis-torn Bonta and Ukpute communities in Konshisha and Oju local government areas of Benue state have agreed to end the lingering communal crisis between them. 

The two communities made the pledge yesterday when Governor Samuel Ortom led top government functionaries and politicians to a peace meeting with them.

Ortom, during the visit, said that allowing the crisis to linger would only bring death, hunger and poverty and appealed to the two feuding communities to lay down their arms to pave the way for peaceful resolution of their protracted crisis, emphasising that where there is no peace, development will continue to elude the people. 

The governor also stressed that two wrongs can never make a right, pointing out that already, government had been working hard to demarcate the boundary between the two communities and sued for their cooperation. 

Responding to the appeals for a police team to be stationed in the area, the governor assured the people of his determination to liaise with the police hierarchy to station a police post at their boundary but warned against a repeat of the incident in Bonta where army personnel were murdered.

The senator representing Benue North East, Gabriel Suswam, and his Benue South counterpart, Abba Moro, re-echoed the need for the people to give peace a chance, noting that escalating the crisis would not serve any useful purpose.

Tor Jechira, Chief Clement Uganden, who represented Tor Tiv, and Oche Otukpo-Ohimini, Chief Mike Okochi representing the Och’Idoma commended the peace initiative of the governor saying that, with his determination, the two communities would witness peace again.

Speaking on behalf of the youths from both communities, Terkula Akaakar, Emmanuel Akpen and Mike Ube said they had agreed totally to the peace message brought by the governor but appealed that concrete steps should be taken to amicably resolve the issues.

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