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Published On: Thu, Aug 28th, 2014

15 killed, 100 houses burnt in Nasarawa renewed communal crisis

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From Gambo Ahmed, Lafia and Umar Muhammad Puma

About 15 people are feared killed and over hundred homes destroyed, following a clash that rocked Angwan Hamidu, Sule and Angwan Mama, in Obi local government council of Nasarawa state as a result of renewed fighting between Eggon farmers and suspected Fulani herdsmen in the state.

A reliable source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the clash, which started at about 12:00 noon between the Eggon and Fulani, lasted for several hours, leading to the death of over 15 people from both sides.

His words: “Today, at about 12:00 O’clock in the afternoon, we heard sporadic gunshots close to my village and before we knew what was happening, some of our houses were already set ablaze by suspected Fulani, as well as random shooting of our people, who ran for safety but unfortunately, over 15 people were killed, I saw and counted the corpses myself”.

According to him, this was as a result of the crisis that occurred at the weekend elsewhere at Alogani Village in Assakio Lafia East Development Area, but which escalated to our communities in Obi Local Government Area, following reprisal attack.

Our reporter could not reach the Secretary, Miyetti Allah Cattle Rearers Association, on his mobile phone but confirming the incident, the Police Public Relation Officer, ASP Isma’ila Numan told Peoples Daily that, as at 4:15 p.m., the command was yet to be briefed on the incident.

His words: “Please, up till now, we have not gotten details from that end in our office, but when we confirm it, we will brief you”.

Meanwhile, no fewer than nine children, between the ages of 2 and ten years’ old, were said to have drowned in Guyaka river of Ughah, in Assakio area of Lafia local government of the state, while fleeing from the renewed crisis.

Confirming the incident, the paramount ruler of Ugah, Alh Abdullahi Magajin Oron Akye, said that nine children were among 13 other children attempting to escape through the river from the Fulani / Eggon clash.

Mr. Magaji explained that four of the children were rescued while nine are still missing, adding that all the children were between the ages of 2 and ten years.

He said that a decision was taken by the community to ferry the children

through the river to save them from any eventuality as they had been walking in the bush up till 12midnight.

“We decided to use the boat to ferry them out of the community after trekking for over 21 kilometers through the night”.

“unfortunately, the boat capsized and nine out of the 13 children drowned while four were rescued but none of the corpses of the drowned children have been recovered”.

“I have reported the incident to the government and equally helped the survivors to go to Lafia, the state capital”.

He added that about five communities, including the headquarters of his chiefdom, Ugah, have been razed, namely: Mankwar, Gallo, Shimeer, Umbwal and Alingani.

He said that the people in the affected communities are presently taking refuge in Namu area of Shendam local government area of Plateau state.

Magaji added that the people of Guyaka, the only remaining place that was partly torched, have also relocated to Lafia, for fear of the unknown.

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO ) Umar Isma’ila Numan said he was not aware of the clash but promised to brief the press on any development.


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