Former President of the Nigerian Senate, David Mark has expressed displeasure over the communal crisis between Otukpo and Obi local government areas of Benue State.
In a statement by his special adviser on media, Paul Mumeh, which he made available to journalists on Friday in Abuja, Mark described the crisis as unfortunate and urged the warring groups to sheathe their swords.
The Ijegwu community in Obi LGA and Ojantele-Akangwu community in Otukpo LGA in Benue State had been locked in communal clashes that allegedly claimed some lives and also led to destruction of scores of properties worth millions of naira.
The statement said the crisis has displaced a great number of women and children, adding that senseless killing and wanton destruction of properties would have been avoided if the combatants had taken to the path of dialogue.
“This is alien to our culture and tradition,” Mark said, urging both communities to dialogue and reconcile their differences in the interest of peaceful coexistence.
Senator Mark, who tasked the communities to rise up to the challenge and restore peace, said traditional and religious leaders, as well as security operatives, must collaborate to put an end to the conflict.
“No matter the level of anger or provocation, resorting to violence is not the solution, the way out, like in any conflict, is dialogue,” he said, even as he tasked the Benue State government to set up a panel of inquiry.