No fewer than 13 persons were reportedly killed in an attack on Edikwu community in the Apa Local Government Area of Benue State.
The incident, according to locals, happened between 4am and 5am on Monday.
A local, who simply identified himself as Elvis, said the attack might not be unconnected to a chieftaincy tussle.
Elvis said, “There has been lingering crisis in the community for sometimes now. This has caused apprehension among the people over possible imminent attack. Unfortunately, this morning, between 4am and 5am, the community was invaded by hired gunmen.
“There had been a dispute over the stool of Alegwu of Edikwu, which dates back to 1994.
“One of the royal families had disagreed with the choice of the kingmakers of the community, who elected late Chief Imoni Otokpa as Alegwu of Edikwu before his demise in 2018.
It was further gathered that one of the children of the late king is on the throne in acting capacity.
Monday’s attack on the community came just a few months after the state Deputy Governor, Mr Benson Abounu, on behalf of Governor Samuel Ortom, presided over a peace meeting of stakeholders of the community, where it was agreed that feuding parties should sheathe their swords and embrace peace.
As of the time of filing this report, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke were said to have been drafted to the area to forestall further attack.
The state police command said that 13 corpses had so far been recovered from the troubled area.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer, Catherine Anene, in a statement, said the community had been experiencing incessant crises over chieftaincy affairs.