A major communal conflict was Wednesday averted in Makurdi the Benue state capital, after a sugarcane seller [names withheld] allegedly stabbed 19-year-old Umaru Abdulrahaman, his customer, to death following an argument.
It was gathered from an eyewitness that the incident took place Wednesday morning at about 10 am in the Wadata area of Makurdi of town.
According to the witness who craved anonymity, the deceased and the sugarcane seller had engaged in an argument after purchasing a stick of sugarcane.
"They were actually arguing over the balance [change] that was supposed to be given the the murdered young man. All we heard was a sudden loud scream, and the young man fell to the ground.
"When we rushed to the scene, we saw blood gushing from chest of the deceased where he was stabbed. We discovered that the young man was dead cold while his attacker immediately fled the scene of the incident leaving his victim in his own pool of blood," according to the eyewitness.
Corroborating the story, the Senior Special Assistant to the Benue State Governor on Public Utilities, Mr. Gadaffi Asemanya said he was informed of the incident by an informant who alerted him that there was palpable tension in Wadata town among some Islamic youths after a sugarcane seller allegedly stabbed his victim, who was of a different Islamic group, to death.
"Youths of the various sects mobilized themselves and were about unleashing mayhem in that part of the town when I arrived the area and pleaded with their sense of reasoning, and thereafter calmed down frayed nerves before the arrival of security personnel to the scene of the heinous crime," Asemanya said.
When contacted, the Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP, Daniel Ezeala confirmed the incident, but pointed out that the police was yet to make any arrests. He also noted that the police had taken steps to avert any form of crisis arising from the incident.