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Seven die in Benue, Abia, Akwa Ibom boundary clashes



SEVEN persons were yesterday killed on the outskirts of Makurdi, Benue State following fresh hostilities between two communities over land with offices and shops around the area hurriedly shutting for staff and customers to leave before they are trapped in the crossfire.

Many houses were set ablaze with other properties worth millions of naira destroyed.
Also, in Usaka Ukwu and Nkaria, two communities on two sides of the Abia and Akwa Ibom border, an unspecified number of persons have been killed in a land tussle.

Usaka Ukwu is in Ikwuano council area of Abia where some accounts claimed that six persons were killed while a larger number of people have been hospitalised in parts of the state.
The clash forced many from their homes in both communities that have been embroiled in land dispute for years despite efforts by governments of the two states and National Boundary Commission (NBC) to resolve the crisis by delineating the area.

The clash lasted from 10pm to 5am, it was said, but within that time, no security agency intervened.
Police spokesman in Abia Geoffrey Ogbonna said he was yet to receive any recent clash report in the area.
But Abia State Information Commissioner, John Okiyi-Kalu confirmed the incident, though he said that one person was killed.

“As a government, we condemn in totality the act of violence. The National Boundary Commission has visited the area and very soon they will delineate the boundaries properly. We are calling on the communities involved to exercise restraint and avoid shedding of blood,” he said.

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