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4 feared dead in renewed Benue communal rivalry

A renewed rivalry between Okpudu and Ollo communities in Idoma-speaking Okpowku Local Government Area of Benue state has allegedly claimed the lives of four persons.

But, the Police have dispelled the killings, saying that no death was recorded.

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Daily Trust gathered that both communities had consistently engaged themselves in an age-long battle which had defied solution over the years.

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It was learnt that fresh crisis brewed again on Sunday after a misunderstanding ensued between some youths of the two communities which resulted in the abduction of two young persons from one of the affected villages.

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Local sources said that the abduction sparked anger among the relatives of the victims who mobilised themselves to the suspected village alleged to have taken their own on hostage.

Consequently, the four persons were reportedly killed in the ensuing confrontation by the warring two communities while many were wounded and others deserted their houses for safety elsewhere.

The locals told our correspondent that normalcy was gradually returning on Tuesday as vigilantes have mounted road blocks on major roads leading in and out of the two communities to forestall further trouble.

Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene, who dispelled the rumours of death, insisted that nobody was killed.

Anene explained that rather the family of a woman married into one of the disputed community went there to retrieve their daughter on ground that they weren’t in support of the union, adding however that the move was resisted by the husband’s people who held back the wife’s relatives.

The PPRO said when the wife’s relatives were not seen, their (wife) people mobilised and abducted some persons from the husband’s village as she further stressed that the matter was later resolved peacefully and normalcy has since returned to the area.

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