From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Troops of the joint Military spike operation codenamed Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS Sunday nabbed one local militia leader popularly known as Alhaji Audu from Olegeje community in Agatu local government area of Benue State and recovered one Ak47 rifle and 60 round of ammunitions from him during a communal clash in Agatu.
It was learnt that some militia groups had earlier same day, attacked three communities of Adana, Olegeje and Olegogboche all in Agatu local government area of Benue state.
Our correspondent gathered that Alhaji Audu led other members of his militia group to launch attack on Adana community which led to the death of two persons while others were injured.
Although, another source who spoke under the condition of anonymity attributed the attack to Fulani herdsmen where 10 people were allegedly killed and some others missing, another local Job Emakwo insisted that it was not, but a communal clash involving the three communities as a result of the activities of some militia in the affected areas.
Job told newsmen that Audu and his group went to Adana in search of one of their gang members and started shooting sporadically in all directions, killing two persons at the spot and injuring several others in the process.
He hinted that there was a misunderstanding between the three communities in the area over land which earlier claimed the lives of some persons.
He said immediately troops of the OPWS stationed in Agatu heard about the clash, they quickly rushed to the affected communities and in the process stormed into a militia camp and apprehensed Alhaji Audu who was later identified as one of the leaders of the local militia who instigated the fight between the three communities.
He said the troops recovered one Ak47 riffle and 60 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition with two magazines from Audu.
When contacted, the Force Commander of OPWS, Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini said he cannot comment on the Agatu attack and said that journalists can contact the Defense Head Quarters, DHO Information Department.
On her part, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene confirmed that there was an attack in Agatu but that the Command was yet to establish whether it was herdsmen attack or communal clash.
Anene could not also confirm the number of deaths at the time of the report but informed that policemen who were deployed to the area to maintain peace, law and order were yet to establish contacts with her due to network problem in the area.
“Information was received on 14/06/2020 at about 0530hrs that some unknown gun men attacked Adana village, a riverine area in Agatu that is not motorable. A team of police officers have been deployed to the area but the level of destruction and casualties is yet to be ascertained”, Anene said.