30 January 2013

Nigeria: Offa-Erin-Ile Renewed Clash Claims 10

About 10 people have been feared dead following the renewed hostilities which ensued between the people of Offa and Erin-Ile communities in Kwara State.

Already, the state Police Command Tuesday said it had drafted about 40 riot policemen to the affected communities in order to maintain law and order.

Also Tuesday, the authorities of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa ordered the closure of the institution with the immediate effect in view of its closeness to Erin-Ile town.

THISDAY checks revealed that the development became imperative in view of the renewed clashes that had ensued between the two communities in recent times.

However, it was gathered that the recent one was the clashes that happened on Monday, when a trader from Erin-Ile allegedly came to Offa to buy tiles for his house and the vehicle he used in transporting the materials back to Erin-Ile hit another vehicle belonging to an indigene of Offa, which resulted in a serious argument and subsequently fracas ensued.

Sources said the development led the state Police Command and the State Security Service (SSS) to draft their officers to the two affected communities so as to maintain law and order.

The state Police Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Olufemi Fabode, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), who confirmed the incident, said the command was on top of the situation.

He said about 40 policemen have been drafted to the affected areas in order to maintain law and order.

He said the community leaders of the two communities have been asked to talk to their people so as to forestall the spread of the violence.

Olabode, therefore, denied the rumour of the alleged killing of anyone during the clashes.

Also, reacting to the development, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Isiaka Gold, advised individuals and groups with a grievance or disagreement to utilise lawful channels for dispute resolution such as the law courts rather than taking law in to their hands.

Gold appealed to the people of the affected two communities to continue to embrace peace so as to move the state forward.

The two towns have been engaging themselves in a free-for-all fight over a land dispute for past three decades now.

The members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) of the two towns last year attacked themselves over the control of motor parks in the disputed land.

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