From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
At least five people have been reported killed, several houses burnt down and property destroyed yesterday as fighting amongst residents of the Agboughul community, a suburb in Makurdi, the Benue State capital raged on.
More than ten thousand persons are said to have relocated from the area and are now taking refuge in Makurdi metropolis as well as other surrounding villages.
People’s Daily also gathered that all the six traditional rulers in the locality and their families have also deserted the area, which is widely believed to be the den of secret cult activities.
Some of the fleeing victims who spoke to our correspondent on grounds of anonymity said, the ghost community has turned into a theatre of violence by cultists who have also vowed to make the entire area uninhabitable.
“My son as you can see, I am the only elderly person remaining in this community, every other person has left with their families to Makurdi town or nearby villages for safety”.
“These wicked boys are fond of operating in the night or sometimes in the day time. The moment they see a house they want to attack, they will strike and so far, they have killed five people. Nobody sleeps peacefully in the area not even the traditional rulers. About six of them have fled the area. But as for me, I don’t know where to run to that is why I am still here”, a victim said.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ezeala who denied killings and burning of houses in the area, said if there is any attack, the police would have known, but stressed that the command was on top of the situation.
The Agboughul community has for the past fifteen years witnessed incidence of violence ranging from land dispute to cult activities that has always seen several lives lost.