The Benue State Police Command has dispelled the rumoured crisis between the Tiv and Jukun communities in the Wurukum area of Makurdi town.
The clarification followed reports of sporadic gunshots and touching of huts in the area Wednesday afternoon following a dispute over the ownership of a fish pond in the area, which forced residents to flee for safety.
The Police in a statement by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Superintendent, SP, Catherine Anene, made available to newsmen in Makurdi, explained that the incident had no ethnic coloration as being painted on the social media.
Part of the statement with the caption ‘alleged Tiv-Jukum crisis- an attempt to create unnecessary tension’ read: “the fact of the case is that on 16th February 16, 2022 at about 3pm information was received that some fishermen had gone fishing in a pond behind Rice mill, Wurukum, Makurdi, without inviting other community members as it has been the practice.
“This action brought disagreement amongst them and hoodlums took advantage of the incident to break into houses and steal from them.
“A team of police officers were deployed to the scene immediately. The suspects took to their heels on sighting the police team, however, critical stakeholders who confirmed this story cooperated with the police in restoring peace in the area.
“It is imperative to state that this incident has nothing to do with tribe or ethnicity but criminals who intended to create tension and steel from members of the public.
“Normalcy has since been returned to the area with more patrol teams to forestall further breakdown of law and other. Members of the public are advised to desist from rumour mongering to avoid unnecessary tension and reactions,” the statement added.
Meanwhile residents of the area have continued to flee for fear of being attacked by hoodlums despite the presence of security personnel in the area.