Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Following a major disagreement over a paltry N100, two persons lost their lives in what culminated in a bloody clash between some Igbos and Fulanis at Gariki Market, Enugu.
The deceased persons were identified as one Ali, a Fulani man and Ifeanyi Ifeacho, an Igboman.
The incident reportedly happened very late in the evening last Wednesday.
According to an eyewitness, trouble started brewing in the market when Ali came from New Artisan Market with a cow to slaughter in the Gariki abattoir.
Ali came to Gariki abattoir where Ifeanyi worked as an attendant to slaughter his cow, following the closure of New Artisan Market by the state government early this week.
According to an eyewitness, when Ali finished slaughtering his cow, he gave Ifeanyi N400 instead of the N500 fee.
Ifeanyi was said to have asked Ali to give him the remaining N100 but the Fulani man remained adamant, insisting that he would not pay any other money.
The misunderstanding degenerated to a fight between the two.
In the ensuing milieu, Ali pulled out a dagger and stabbed Ifeanyi severally on the stomach.
Ifeanyi collapsed and died on the spot. Ali was said to have attempted to escape from the market but some outraged Igbo traders in the market grabbed him and mobbed him to the point of death. He later died in the hospital.
The angry Igbo traders mobilised and allegedly burnt down the Mosque inside Gariki Market.
Normalcy has however returned to the market, following the deployment of anti-riot policemen to the market and its environs.
Ebere Amaraizu, the spokesman for Enugu State Police Command, confirmed this report when contacted.
Amaraizu said the command deployed anti-riot policemen to Gariki market immediately to stop the situation from escalating.
“Two persons were confirmed dead yesterday in a clash between an easterner and a northerner over misunderstanding that arose between them in the evening at Gariki Awkunanaw market.
“Security is beefed up in the area by the state Commissioner of Police, Douglas Agbonleni, to avoid escalation and breakdown of law and order, just as a full scale investigation has commenced into the incident,” Amaraizu said.
Meanwhile, peace talk is going on between the Igbo and Hausa-Fulani traders in the market as at the time this report was filed.
It was gathered that the chairman of Enugu South Local Government Area Caretaker Committee had elected to offset the burial expenses of the deceased.