29 December 2008

Nigeria: Hundreds Rendered Homeless as Jukuns, Kutebs Clash

Jalingo — Hundreds of people have been rendered homeless and property worth millions of Naira destroyed following a renewed crisis that erupted yesterday between the Kutebs and the Jukuns in Takum LGA of Taraba State.

LEADERSHIP gathered that the crisis was ignited as a result of Jukun cultural festival, which drew the sons and daughters of the area from far and near back home. Our source said the Kutebs frowned at the celebration of the Jukun festival, wondering why the state government earlier in the year halted the Kutebs from celebrating their festival for security reasons now allow the Jukuns to celebrate theirs.

Though the number of casualties is yet to be ascertained as at the time of filing this report, LEADERSHIP, however, gathered from reliable sources in the area that hundreds of peole are presently taking refuge in the army barracks and that there is still serious tension in the area. LEADERSHIP also gathered that three trucks of heavily armed mobile policemen left Jalingo, the state capital this morning to take care of the situation. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, ASP Solomon Isa, denied knowledge of the crisis saying "I am not aware of such crisis, but give me time to confirm from the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in the area".The council chairman, Musa Ahijo, who spoke with some reporters on phone said "everything is calm now" and that the people are "presently going about their normal business."He agreed that there were casualties, but could not disclose the number saying "we are still trying to find out the number of people and property involved". A high-powered security meeting, according to the chairman of the council, "has just been concluded and I am on my way home." He called on the warring factions to sheathe their swords and to allow for a fun-filled yuletide season.

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