Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Nasarawa Communal Clash - Death Toll Hits Nine, Over 50 Houses Burnt

Photo: The Daily Nation
Nigeria military personnel clash with militant youths in Onitsha, southeastern Nigeria February 22, 2006.

Following a communal clash that engulfed Agyaragu community in Jenkwe Development Area of Obi Local Government, nine people have been confirmed dead including the district head of Gidan-Rai, Zhe Meri, who was a refugee in Agyaragu fleeing a similar crisis that visited his community a few weeks ago.

The Administrator of Jenkwe Development Area, Mr. Wuduyamba Sam Agidi, who led the state Deputy Governor, Dameshi Luka and other security chiefs in the state on an assessment tour of the area yesterday, confirmed the casualty figure to LEADERSHIP.

Our correspondent also reports that the palace of the paramount ruler in the area, 'Zhe Migili,' Dr. Ayuba Agwadu, was razed by the militant Ombatse, but the pramount ruler escaped unhurt.

LEADERSHIP further reports that smoke was still bellowing from some the affected building even as charred remains of some victims littered the area.

According to the chairman, the crisis began on Wednesday morning following the apprehension of a boy by a vigilante group over an allegation of a motorcycle theft.

He said efforts by the vigilante to arrest an accomplice of the suspected thief were resisted by a group of armed men, resulting in a shoot-out between the vigilante and the group.

Agidi explained that when the report got to him, he quickly alerted the Police DPO in the area to quell the crisis.

"I later got another information that a group of Eggon ethnic militia known as 'Ombatse' had mobilized and were heading towards the town in large numbers armed with dangerous weapons.

"This prompted me to call the commissioner of Police, Abayomi Akeremale, who assured me that he had deployed anti-riot Policemen to tackle the situation," Agidi said.

Nasarawa Deputy Governor Dameshi Luka described the incident as barbaric given the level of devastation caused by the crisis.

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InFocus

More Deaths as Tribal Clashes Escalate in Nigeria

File photo: Houses burnt in renewed tribal clashes in Nigeria.

The death toll in tribal clashes in Nasarawa has increased to a reported 10 people - including that of a traditional ruler's sister who was allegedly burnt to death. More houses ... Read more »