As warring communities — Mbasombo and Mbaivur — in Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State, sheathed their swords, business activities are gradually returning to the axis.
When WikkiTimes visited Ikpayongo, a popular market that had been deserted during the clash, a few traders were seen returning to sell their commodities.
Kate Anjov, a trader who deals in consumables told WikkiTimes that the market is struggling to bounce back following the communal clash.
“After the clash, we have been coming here with faith to get patronage it has not been easy we hope that there is change soon,” another trader, David Terdoo said.
“Since my return late last week, we have been operating without much patronage, few shops were destroyed but thank God that mine was spared, we hope that life returns to normal here,” Terdoo added.
Awashima John, who arrived at the market to purchase food for his home, spoke on the need to leave with each other in peace as he hopes that life returns to normal in the market soon.
“I’m glad that marketing activities are gradually returning here. For the past few days, we have been running for our lives. I hope this peace stays, there is every need for a peaceful coexistence because we are all humans,” he said.
In an interview with the Market Chief (Tor-kasua), Richard Kum, he lamented that the crisis led to destruction of valuables in the market.
“It is a painful scenario that we have to see the shops in the market destroyed, there is a popular saying that you don’t throw stones in the market but we see two people fighting in the market,” said Kum.
The market leader, however, extolled the warring parties for embracing peace after the government intervention.
“Thank God that the aggrieved parties have embraced peace. We are finally seeing people returning here but the usual beehive is still far from returning, we hope that it stays like that,” he told WikkiTimes. The market chief also applauded the timely intervention of the Benue State Government.
Mary Samuel, a resident had told WikkiTimes when the clash broke out that the warring parties renewed their fight when a burial was about to be conducted. One of the parties accused the other that they killed their kinsmen with witchcraft.
She said the Gwer East market was burnt amid heavy shooting while locals were seeking refuge in neighbouring communities and the state capital, Makurdi.
The immediate past governor of the state, Samuel Ortom, had once suspended traditional rulers suspected to be complicit in the crisis.