Five persons were on Thursday killed in a communal clash between the Mumuye and Fulani tribes in Yorro Local Government area of Taraba State.
The clash, which affected three villages namely Malali, Dila and Yaladi-Depo, was said to have been ignited by the news of the killing of a Mumuye youth who was working on his farm by Fulani herdsmen.
When the news of the killing of the Mumuye man filtered into the town, other Mumuye youths mobilised themselves and stormed the Fulani settlements in the area to carry out a reprisal.
Confirming the incident in a telephone interview, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr David Akinremi, said five persons have been arrested in connection with the mayhem.
Akinremi further revealed that security operatives are on the trail of other suspects who are currently on the run just as he noted that security has been beefed up in the area to forstal further attacks and reprisals.
According to him, “We have arrested five people in connection with the incident and they are currently being interrogated at the command headquarters while we are on the trail of others that are on the run.
“We are definitely going to arrest and prosecute all those involved in the crisis but presently, security has been beefed up in the area to prevent further breakdown of law and order,” he said.
However, speaking in a telephone interview, chairman of the local government, Joseph Sonweri, said six people were killed in clash.
Sonweri, who said the cause of the crisis was still unclear, however confirmed that security agencies are on the trail of the boy that is alleged to have caused the clash.
“I can’t tell you exactly what happened now because we are still trailing the boy that was said to have led the attack. He is on the run and his family have deserted their house.
“We spoke to him early in the morning but his line is off now so we are trailing him. Until we get him or any of his accomplice that we can know exactly what happened,” he said.
Also speaking on the incident, the traditional ruler of Yorro, Chief Ado Adamu Mazan, condemned the killings and enjoined security operatives to restore peace.
The chief, who revealed that the community has already forwarded their complaints to the Commissioner of Police for necessary action, stated that the clash was caused by a misunderstanding between herdsmen and farmers in one of the villages.
He said: “It was just a little misunderstanding between herdsmen and farmers in one of the villages. We were told that some Fulani herders strayed into a farm belonging to a native, leading to the clash.”
The chief however disclosed that the commissioner of police has responded promptly by sending securitymen to the area just as he called on the people of the area to tolerate one another.