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At least 28 killed in communal clashes

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By Abraham Adekunle

The victims of two rival clans in Benue consists of mostly women and children.

A trend of violent communal clashes which is spreading through Nigeria in recent years has increased in the past few months. The conflicts have left hundreds of people dead, and thousands displaced. However, on Thursday November 10, 2022, an official has revealed that at least 28 people have been killed in clashes between two rival clans in Benue State, Nigeria. The victims of these clashes are mostly women and children. These incidents of violence between the two clans – Ezza and Effunn clans – was reportedly triggered by the alleged desecration of a shrine in the neighboring Ebonyi State.

According to Paul Hembah, a retired army officer and security adviser to the state’s governor, since Monday, November 7, 2022, scores of residential and commercial properties have been damaged in the Ado area of Benue State. He said houses and businesses were set ablaze. He said that police and military personnel have been deployed to prevent further violence in the area. He also added that investigations are ongoing and that those responsible for the mayhem will be found, arrested and punished.

Nigeria has a long history of inter clan rivalry.

Communal conflicts in Nigeria can be categorized into two types: ethno-religious conflicts and herder-farmer conflicts. The former is attributed to actors primarily divided by cultural, ethnic or religious identities. An example is religious violence between Christian and Muslim communities. The herder-farmer clash typically involves disputes over land and/or cattle between herders and farmers. The herders are usually Fulani and Hausa, while the farmers are usually Adara, Berom, Tiv, and Tarok. The most impacted of all the states in Nigeria are those in the Middle Belt such as Benue, Taraba and Plateau.

Since April, more than 600 people have been killed, scores of houses have been burnt and many people have been displaced from their homes. For instance, automatic weapons and dynamite were reportedly employed to kill and destroy houses when fighting broke out between the Aguleri and Umuleri communities over a boundary dispute in April. In that clash alone, more than 300 people were reportedly killed and thousands displaced. Also, more than 200 people died in the latest incident of communal violence when ethnic Ijaw and Urhobo fought their Itsekiri neighbors in Warri.

Major cause of rivalry is distribution of resources.

According to Samie Ihejirika of Strategic Empowerment and Mediation Agency, a Nigeria not-for-profit organization, “thirty-one prominent communal conflict areas have developed in Nigeria in the last 10 years.” He identified the major cause of the clashes as rivalry over distribution of resources, which may manifest itself as disputes over land, money, titles or chieftaincy. For example, climate change played a major role in the migration of Fulani herdsmen towards Southwestern Nigeria. Desertification, landslides, droughts, pollution, sandstorms and diseases that have been caused by climate change have led Fulani herdsmen to leave their communities.

Thus, many Fulani’s are inclined to migrate south where there is improved vegetation, weather conditions, and market opportunities. The majority of farmer-herder clashes have occurred between Muslim Fulani herdsmen and Christian peasants. This has heightened ethno-religious tensions and hostilities. Other prominent communal conflicts in terms of high casualties include the one between Ife and Modakeke communities in the Southwest, the Jukun and the Kutebs in the Northeast, and the Kataf and the Hausa-Fulani in the north.

Some intense fighting has been between the same group.

Despite the ethnic lines often dividing the actors, some of the most intense clashes have been between people of the same ethnic group. The Igbo communities of Aguleri and Umuleri in Eastern Nigeria and the Yoruba communities of Ife and Modakeke. In most cases, the conflicts are rooted in age-old disputes. According to Chukwudi Ekwunife, a researcher on communal conflicts, this fighting is as a result of government failure since the military era. He said, “With most communities left on their own and poor, they returned to their old ways.”


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jdpumping
jdpumping
1 year ago

Inter clan clashes had always been a problem in Nigeria,this recent one between two tribs in venue is sad just killing over 20 females and children,the government should move to stop this.

Adeolastan
Adeolastan
1 year ago

The rate at which communal clashes occur in the country is very bad because most of the issues that resulted to this clashes can be resolve amicably without fight but because lack of proper management lead them to fight.

Tonerol10
Tonerol10
1 year ago

victims of two rival clans in Benue consists of mostly women and children. Benue has suffer a lot from killing both fulani herdsmen killing them. Government need to looking this communal clashes

Ultra0711
Ultra0711
1 year ago

This kind of clan rivalry which continues to claim the life of innocent people that resides in the community should not be allowed to escalate to such stage. State government needs to intervene with security force to safeguard the community.

Haykaylyon26
Haykaylyon26
1 year ago

The communal clash as to be stop life have been lost and thing are getting bad settlement they should let peace reign. Intervention of government is needed now to stop all this conflict

DimOla
DimOla
1 year ago

In this era of digitalization some people still believe in shine that can’t save them and decided to go to war that led to death. Very pathetic that children and women died in this communal clash.

theApr
theApr
1 year ago

The two main categories of intercommunal conflict in Nigeria are herder-farmer conflicts and ethno-religious conflicts. More than 600 people have died since April, hundreds of homes have burned down, and many more have been forced to leave their homes.

Remi1
Remi1
1 year ago

The communal conflict needs to end because people have died and things are going badly, so peace should reign. To stop all of this conflict, government intervention is urgently required.