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14 Jan 2018

Benue Crisis: Soldiers Take Over, Lockdown Makurdi

Soldiers last night, took over the streets of Makurdi, the Benue State capital, a few hours after the quick intervention of the police averted what could have sparked a fresh mayhem in the state.
The state had, only 48 hours earlier, buried 73 victims of herdsmen killings.

The deployment of the soldiers was ordered by the State Security Council after reviewing the situation in the state.

The security meeting also banned commercial motorcycles from the streets between 6pm and 7am until further notice.

The police had broken up a protest by youths of Hausa-Fulani stock who were showing their anger over alleged attack on them by Tiv youths on Thursday when the 73 victims were buried.

Some Tiv were said to have gone round Wadata, Wurukum, Northbank and Angwan – Jukun areas of Makurdi, which are heavily populated by Hausa-Fulani, on that day to enforce the directive of the government that all business premises and markets be closed in honour of the 73 victims.

This apparently did not go down well with the Hausa-Fulani youths who decided to go on the rampage yesterday, even as the state played host to a delegation from the Senate which came for an on-the-spot assessment of the Benue killings.

The protesters barricaded the busy Ankpa quarters junction and began to smash passing vehicles.

Overall, 15 vehicles were set ablaze and several passengers and motorists molested. There were sounds of gunshots.

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