Benue community calls for establishment of military post

Benue State map

The Ologba community in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State has called on both state and federal governments to establish a military post at its border with the neighbouring Egba community.

The spokesman of Ologba Development Association, Boniface Stephen who made the call during a press conference held in Makurdi on Saturday said that the establishment of a military post between Ologba and Egba will stop the frequent clashes between the two communities.

Stephen called on leaders and traditional rulers in Agatu local government area to wade into the age-long fish pond dispute to ensure that peace is restored in the two communities.

He also called on the neighbouring Egba community to respect court verdict on the disputed fish pond.

Stephen who formally reacted to the earlier call of Save Our Soul by
a community leader from Egba, Mr Clement Oyaje to Benue State Governor, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, Speaker of the state assembly, Aondona Dajoh, the paramount ruler of Idoma land, the Ochidoma, His Royal Majesty, John Ogbaji and other stakeholders in the state to p wade into the crisis with the neighbouring community.

Oyaje had last Sunday lamented the frequent harassment and killing of innocent citizens of Egba Community by Ologba and urged the governor to urgently intervene and free the community.

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Oyaje accused the Ologba community of allegedly barricading all the routes linking the two communities thereby preventing Egba people from gaining access to social and business activities with their neighbours, particularly Obagaji, the local government headquarters.

People of the two communities had been entangled in a grisly war over the ownership of a fish pond for several decades.

Addressing journalists on Saturday, Stephen who displayed series of court judgments said the one Egba community leader (Clement Oyaje) brandishing was a forged judgment.

He stated that the disputed fish pond located at Aila was in 1975 decided in Ologba’s favour by the court.

“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 spokesman of Ologba Development Association 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.”