About seven persons were, yesterday, reportedly killed and 14 houses burnt in the Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State in renewed clashes between Koro and Eggon tribesmen.
Commissioner of Police, Abayomi Akeremale, confirmed the killing in Lafia, saying several houses were also destroyed by fire during the hostilities between the two tribes in Gwadanye area of Agyaragu. The constituency office of the Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Elisha Agwadu, was among those razed.
Eyewitnesses said the fight started when an Eggon boy was arrested by a vigilante group for allegedly stealing a motorcycle.
Upon investigation it was discovered that other boys, who were Koro by tribe, were involved in the act but had escaped.
The Eggon boy was matched to the village chief's house in the company of a police officer. Other Eggon people insisted that the rest of the suspects involved in the crime be arrested since the victim claimed he knew their hideouts.
The demand for the people of Angwan Yakubu to fish out the alleged culprit resulted in a fracas that led to the death of the seven persons and the burning of more than 14 houses. The crisis escalated leading to the killing of innocent people in their farms.
'On top of the situation'
Meanwhile, Akeremale said security agencies were on top of the situation, adding that security personnel had been drafted to the troubled spot to ensure safety of lives and property.
At the time of this report, Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 4, Mr. Michael Zuokumor, was on a one-day familiarisation visit to Nasarawa State.
Incidentally, Zuokumor had earlier in his address pleaded with warring factions and ethnic groups in the state to sheathe their swords and live together in peace.
He said: "I am here to strengthen peace and to boost the morale of the police officers in the state, who are charged with the responsibility of maintaining peace and order peace."
Some of the casualties are currently receiving treatment at the specialist hospital in Lafia.