Three people were feared dead following a bloody clash between youths in Obi and Otukpo Local Government Areas of Benue State.
A source from Otukpo claimed that some youths of Ijegwu in Obi LGA had on Monday engaged in a free-for-all with their counterparts in Otukpo over disruption in power supply as a result of falling poles occasioned by windstorms.
“Some youths of Ijegwu suspected sabotage of the high tension cable which supplies power to the two LGAs at a switch located at a point in the Ijegwu community.
The source further said that when the youths from Ijegwu traced the source of power they discovered that the switch had been disconnected.
“It was at that point that the Ijegwu youths engaged with some youths from Otukpo, in the process one person was injured but subsequent encounter led to the death of another two persons,” the source said.
When contacted, the Regional Manager of Jos Electricity Distribution in Otukpo, Olaniyi Ogunmakinya, said he was not aware of any casualty as he confirmed a clash between youths from the two LGAs.
He said, “What actually happened is that there is what is called Isolators which we used to segment our network if there are problems in some areas we used it to isolate those areas and allow others to have electricity supply while we work on the areas that have a problem.
“I have that isolated toward the end of Otukpo LGA linking Obi. And when it rained a few days ago and we had our lines destroyed, we had to isolate the affected areas to enable us to work on the lines.
“But whenever we do this to repair the lines the people on the Obi LGA side will not be happy that we are isolating them to repair the line, they would prefer that everyone is denied power supply instead of isolating them alone before the repairs.
“So from what I heard, two days ago they allegedly matched to that isolation point to sabotage it. But the youths of the community that would be affected by their action resisted them which led to the conflict.
“That is the much I know, I can not tell whether they killed each other or not. From the report, I got they did not destroy our facilities. It was the attempt to sabotage our isolator that was resisted by the youths of Otukpo.