The Igede and Idoma communities resident in Lagos state have expressed sadness over the recent clashes between communities in Obi and Otukpo local government areas of Benue State, which have resulted into destruction of lives and properties.
In a press statement jointly signed by the Ad’Igede of Lagos, Dr Francis Ogbu, Chairman of Idoma youth group, Engr. Edwin Ogbole and Adikobia Uke Gabriel on Friday, called on Benue state government to ensure the deployment of security personnel to the affected communities so as to stop the escalation of violence in the areas.
“We are saddened by the violent clashes between youth from communities in Obi and Otukpo Local Government Areas of Benue state which occurred on Monday, March 13, 2023, resulting in loss of lives and destruction of property worth millions of Naira.
“We condemn this primitive and lawless act in the strongest term. To say the least, we are perplexed by the destruction of lives and property in the most horrifying manner over an issue that could have been resolved by the Jos Electricity Distribution Company and community leaders from both sides.
“It is baffling that the Igede people in Obi LGA and their Idoma brothers in Otukpo LGA could resort to the brutal attack on one another over a misunderstanding on electricity supply.
“Violence has never been solution to any dispute or disagreement; rather it costs pain and destroys the friendship and brotherhood existing over the years. This is unacceptable and must not be allowed to repeat itself anywhere in Benue state.
“We appeal to the youth to be calm and desist from taking the laws into their hands.
“Community, religious and political leaders from both sides must rise to the occasion by ensuring the return of peace and avoid the escalation of violence,” the statement said.
It stressed that “Benue state has suffered so much in the hands of invading terrorists and we cannot afford any form of communal clash at this trying moment in our lives.”
“Igede and Idoma are brothers. Why should we resort to brutality against each other over issues that could have been amicably resolved? We appeal to the youth from both sides to calm down and embrace peace.”