BREAKING: Bloody clash between Benue youths over power supply leaves 3 dead
The incident happened on Monday at Obi LGA between Ijegwu and Otukpo youths
By The Editor
A bloody clash between Obi and Otukpo youths at Ijegwu in Obi Local Government Area of Benue state on Monday has left at least three people dead.
Reliable sources told Stateflash.com that the clash resulted from the cut in power supply to consumers in Oju and Obi Local Government Areas for the past four days. According to the sources, the youths of Ijegwu suspected sabotage of the high tension cable which supplies power to the two LGAs at a switch located at a point in Ijegwu community. Upon getting to the switch to confirm their suspicion, one of them climbed the pole to check the switch. It was at that point that he and some others with him were allegedly shot by youths believed to have come from Otukpo.
One of the wounded died shortly after. The Ijegwu youths, thereafter were said to have mobilized for a counterattack in which another two were killed. It is not yet clear whether the two victims were Ijegwu or Otukpo youths.
According to an account of the incident by one Urube S. A posted on a WhatsApp platform, "The trouble started when some boys from Otukpo went and cut off the high tension wire supplying light to Obi and Oju Local Government Areas. When our boys went there to find out, then people from Otukpo started shooting and killed our person."
Stateflash sighted a video of the incident on social media showing two of the wounded victims writhing in pain as one of the youths addressed his colleagues, calling for patience and caution.
Chief Chris Ijale, the Adutu'Obi (second Class Chief of Obi) who confirmed the incident, told Stateflash that men of the Police Force and Nigerian Army had since mobilized to the area and have restored calm.
He wondered, however, how an issue that was supposed to be handled by the Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JED) and consumers should take such a dimension that could lead to loss of lives. He called on youths from both sides to toe the path of peace by engaging relevant authorities whenever they have grievances.
He also called on security agencies and JED to investigate the matter thoroughly and bring culprits to book.
This is the second breach of security in Obi Local Government Area since Yuletide period. In the first, kidnappers waylaid, abducted and wounded many who were traveling home for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Residents of the two LGAs have been lamenting the absence of a police station in Obi LGA for about two years now since the police station there was burnt down during a fracas over alleged rape.
They say the lack of any permanent police presence in the area was exposing the people to avoidable security risks.