Community requests for military base from FG, State Govts to stop incessant killings

Community requests for military base from FG, State Govts to stop incessant killings

The Ologba community in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State is requesting the state and federal governments to set up a military post at the border with the neighboring Egba community.

Boniface Stephen, spokesperson for the Ologba Development Association, made this plea during a press conference in Makurdi on Saturday.

He stressed that having a military post between Ologba and Egba would help prevent the frequent clashes between the two communities.

Stephen also urged local leaders and traditional rulers in Agatu to intervene in the long-standing fish pond dispute to bring back peace. He called on the Egba community to respect the court’s decision regarding the contested fish pond.

Stephen’s comments were in response to a plea from Egba community leader Clement Oyaje, who had previously asked Benue State Governor Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, State Assembly Speaker Aondona Dajoh, the paramount ruler of Idoma land, His Royal Majesty John Ogbaji, and other stakeholders to address the ongoing crisis.

Oyaje expressed concern about the frequent harassment and killings of Egba citizens by Ologba and requested immediate intervention from the governor.

Oyaje also accused the Ologba community of blocking all routes connecting the two communities, which was preventing Egba residents from accessing social and business activities, especially in Obagaji, the local government headquarters.

The two communities have been in a violent conflict over the ownership of a fish pond for many years. During the press conference, Stephen presented a series of court judgments, claiming that the judgment provided by Egba leader Clement Oyaje was fake.

He mentioned that the court had ruled in favor of Ologba regarding the disputed fish pond in Aila back in 1975.

He said: “The people of Egba jumped out of the disputed area to claim fish ponds outside the disputed area. They are claiming Okatabu fish ponds which is located at Aila.

” The case went to court in case No CV/218/75. Egba lost the case. The judgment was decided in favour of Ologba community as the rightful owner of the fish pond.

“On 3rd August 2020 two of the suspects that were involved in forged court judgment were arrested by the police in Otukpo Area Command but a top politician who never wanted the crisis to come to an end, ordered the then Area commander to release them,” Stephen said.

The Ologba Development Association’s spokesman, on his part however denied blockage of the road by Ologba people saying, “road belongs to government and nobody has the power to block it. No road was blocked in Ologba community as investigated.

“The people of Ologba community are appealing to the State Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia for quick intervention.

“We want Egba people to respect court verdict, all leaders, stakeholders and our traditional rulers in Agatu local government should rise up to unite us all.”

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