By George Okoh in Makurdi
Several houses including economic trees and farm produce valued at about N200 million, at the weekend, were destroyed when some angry youths of Mbayangeh and Mbashine communities clashed over a disputed piece of land at Ikpayongo in Gwer local government area of Benue State.
According to eye witnesses the crises started due an age long disagreements between Mbayangeh and Mbashine communities at Ikpayongo over the disputed land.
However, the two communities took up arms against each other few days ago, when leaders of one of the communities allegedly gave out the disputed land to a federal lawmaker for the construction of a private school.
According to our source, “It is a known fact that the communities had been neck deep in a tussle over the ownership of the piece of land. So it came as a surprise when we learnt that the said disputed land had been given out by one of the contending parties to a lawmaker who wants to construct a school.
“That singular act sparked angry reaction from Mbashine community who in a bid to resist what was happened also provoked a counter reaction from their neighbours and rivals leading to the use of dangerous weapons in the ensuing fighting.
“The fighting lasted several hours before the police came to restore calm but as at last count over 30 houses have been burnt down, economic trees destroyed while farm produce were not also speared by the warring parties,” the eyewitness said.
He, however, noted that no lives were lost to the crisis, but pointed out that so many people were displaced with no source of livelihood, shelter nor food. Meanwhile, THISDAY gathered that the Benue State Police Command has deployed men to the troubled communities in order to ensure the restoration of peace in the area