NAF, Community Clash Sacks 160 Houses in Benue

Posted: September 25, 2013 in Uncategorized
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 A fresh land dispute between the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base and the St. Francis Community of Akpen village in Makurdi, Benue state has sacked about 160 houses and scores of persons displaced for fear of reprisal.

 

Investigations by atiterkula gathered that NAF  and the Akpen community, located on kilometer 6, Makurdi-Gboko expressway are in dispute over 2.6 hectares of land housing over 160 houses, churches, schools as well as hotels and petrol stations.

 

The incident which occurred at the weekend happened when the Nigeria Air force command in Makurdi had detailed its men to the Akpen community, marked the houses and claimed that they were  owners of the land and the residents should urgently vacate them.

 

It was learnt that the disputed land in which the affected community is situated had been in existence since 1970 before the NAF Base Makurdi was later established in 1972. The St. Francis Catholic Church Akpen and the Ugbechi Limited Company, as well as the NAF checkpoint are all located on the disputed land.

 

Speaking to newsmen in Makurdi yesterday, the chairman of the Akpen community, Mr. clement Chia and the Managing Director of Ugbechi Limited, Mr. Paul Ubwa said the land problem came up in 2003 but was resolved by the then governor of Benue state, Senator George Akume and that the matter was only revisited few days ago, after 10 years of the resolution.

 

According to Chia, “the Air Force personnel who came with guns to the area yesterday marked all the houses claiming that the land is theirs and forcefully ordered everybody to vacate the area. Three persons who were worshiping in the St. Francis church Akpen and four personnel of the Ugbechi limited were arrested, tortured and detained for a whole night.”

 

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