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5 Sep 2018

Tragedy as militia shoots four travellers in Benue

Four people travelling from Otukpo to Agila in Benue State have been shot by Ngbo militia, who were said to be from the Oha’Nkwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

The incident was said to have occurred on Monday when a commercial vehicle plying Otukpo-Agila Road was ambushed by the militia at Agila Secondary School around 7.30pm.

The group members were said to have shot at the vehicle and four persons were reportedly hit in the process.

The border communities of Agila, in the Ado Local Government Area of Benue State, and Ngwo, in the Ebonyi State, were said to have been at war for decades.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the dispute between the two neighbouring communities was caused by land.

It was gathered that some Ngbo militias allegedly deployed mercenaries in Agila community, ambushed traders and commuters and shot at them.

An eyewitness told our correspondent that a commercial driver, identified as Orinya Odang aka Ijeje, ran into the militia on Otukpo-Agila Road.

The witness, Willy Ochoche, said immediately the group sighted the vehicle, members came out in a large number and shot continuously at the moving vehicle, adding that four people were injured.

He said, “The warriors laid ambush close to Agila Community Secondary school around 7.30pm. One of the men stood at the main road and stopped the vehicle, but the driver refused to stop. Immediately, others opened fire on the fleeing vehicle, injuring four persons.”

The  Chairman of Ado Local Government Area, Mrs Blessing Ogaba, lamented the attack.

“The way and manner those people attacked our people was terrible. The situation is even more painful when you realised that our people have been displaced from their places of abode and their communities made desolate.

“Immediately l got the information about the attack on the travellers, l quickly alerted the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ado who mobilise his men to the area.

“We have taken the injured persons to the Igunmale General Hospital,” Ogaba said.

The spokesman for the state police command, DSP Moses Yamu, said he had not been briefed.

“Ado’s Divisional Police Officer said he was not aware of the incident,” he added.

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