From Gambo Ahmed, Lafia
A clash between suspected Eggon youths and a Fulani community in the Alingani area of Fadaman Bauna, in Assakio, headquarters of the Lafia East Development Area of Nasarawa state on Sunday night has claimed no fewer than 17 people.
It was learnt yesterday that the clash ensued when Eggon youths attacked Alingani as a revenge for the destruction of Eggon farms by the Fulani herdsmen and their cattle.
Investigations showed that the youths initially on Saturday evening, launched an attack on worshipers in a mosque, killing about three people and injuring many others. It was also gathered that the attackers also burnt down houses belonging to the fleeing Fulani cattle breeders.
Our correspondent, who went round the state capital, sighted more than 100 Eggon refugees comprising women and children who fled their ancestral homes. The refugees, who fled their homes for fear of being attacked by the Fulani, were brought to the state capital in a truck. They assembled in front of frontage of Dalhatu Specialist Hospital.
An eyewitness told our reporter that the people that were killed were more than 25. He added that their corpses were dumped in a bush.
He said the fight between the Fulani herdsmen and Eggon youths broke out when the herdsmen encroached on farmlands belonging to the Eggon.
When contacted on the telephone, the state’s Secretary of Miyetti Allah cattle breeders association, Altai Hussein Abubakar, said that four Fulani people were killed by the Ombatse militia. Abubakar, however, stressed that the Eggon were peace-loving people, who had lived with the Fulani in the area for over 150 years.
He said current Ombatse onslaught on several communities in the state could not be said to be an ethnic clash with the Eggon ethnic nationality.
He said, “Our leaders from both Eggon and Fulani communities in the state must not allow youths, most of whom are drug addicts and mentally deranged, to set such a violent social agenda for us; and so we are calling on our leaders, the government and security agencies to halt this lingering violent aggression.”
However, the Police Public Relations Officer, Isma’ila Numan, Nasarawa state Command, who confirmed the incident, said the Police only rescued three persons who were injured and took them to Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, adding that the Police recovered two corpses.