Gunmen Kill 13 People in Benue Community

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George Okoh in Makurdi

No fewer than 13 persons were reportedly killed when gunmen attacked the Edikwu community in the Apa Local Government Area of Benue State.

The incident, according to locals, happened between 4am and 5a.m. yesterday.

A local said the attack might not be unconnected to a chieftaincy title.

“There has been a lingering crisis in the community for sometimes now. One of the royal families had disagreed with the choice of the kingmakers of the community who elected the late Chief Imoni Otokpa as Alegwu of Edikwu before his demise in 2018.”

It was further gathered that one of the children of the late king is on the throne in an acting capacity, a development not pleasing to the other royal families.

As at the time of filing this report, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke were said to have been drafted to the area to forestall further attack.

Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Catherine Anene, in a statement, said, “Edikwu district, Ukpogbo in Apa Local Government Area of Benue State was experiencing incessant crises over chieftaincy affairs until 25/05/2020 when the Benue State Government convened a peace meeting that was headed by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Benson Abounu to put an end to the rancor

“On 10/8/2020 at about 0400hrs when the information was received that about twenty armed men invaded the community and shot sporadically at members of the community.

“A team of police officers were deployed to the scene where 13 corpses were recovered.”

Anene said investigation was still ongoing to ascertain the actual cause of the attack and to bring the perpetrators to book.