Police, group deny attack on Hausa community in Benue
The Benue Police Command the Tiv Youths Organisation (TYO) have refuted claims that the Hausa community in Makurdi was attacked and its members killed.
According to TYO’s spokesman, James Ornguga, in a statement, it was clear that the report “has been written by a reporter who is not on ground in the state, other than the state correspondent of the newspaper who lives in Makurdi as well as the inclusion of a dubious picture further underscores the intention of the media house to incite violence in Benue State.”
He condemned the purported reports, saying they were meant to incite sectarian violence.
Ornguga stated that the latest report contradicted the one earlier published on April 27, 2018 on same issue.
According to him, the story gave a figure of 11 deaths and destruction of two mosques as well as other property.
The spokesman pointed out that it was unfortunate that the media outfit had continued to “rehash the report to incite violence”, noting that the conflicting casualty figure further puts the integrity of the story to test.
The statement reads in part: “The police authorities and the deputy governor of Benue State promptly denied the above stated report which the writer claimed was based on an interview with the Sarkin Hausawa in Makurdi, Alhaji Bello Sallau Abdurrahman.”
“The police described the newspaper report as false and urged the public to disregard the information as it was not aware of any casualty figures in that community besides the fact that no mosques were set ablaze in Makurdi metropolis or any part of the state.”
It continued: “More worrisome is the fact that in the published picture, which is clear enough for recognition of those around the purported dead bodies, no known faces could be spotted which casts more doubt about where it was taken.
“But the objective of the picture which had no link with Governor Ortom’s visit to the Hausa community is clearly to incite sectarian violence.
“The Tiv Youths Organisation therefore condemns these false, mischievous and inciting reports and urges the public to disregard them and consider its authors as promoters of hate speech, violence and crisis.”
The police command had earlier labelled as untrue the purported attack when the first story was published.