Communal Clash Claims 8 Lives in Niger

By Laleye Dipo in Minna

Not less than eight people have been confirmed killed in  a communal fight between the Gaba and Anfani communities in the Lavun local government area of Niger state.

The incident which occurred on Thursday, according to a report from the area, led to the death of the victims. While some were beheaded, one of those killed, according to  an eyewitness, also had his two feet cut off.

It was gathered that the dispute between the communities was over a parcel of land which the Gaba community were said to have given to their Anfani counterparts over 50 years ago.

A Bida High Court was said to have ruled in favour of the Gaba community last week  directing the Anfani community to vacate the land.

It was learnt that to enforce the judgement of the court, the Gaba community sent 11 men to the disputed land to carryout a survey. One of the eleven people was a surveyor from the state ministry of works.

According to an eyewitness, the  Gaba men were reportedly waylaid by their Anfani people “slaughtering them like goats”.

The assailants were also allegedly assisted by some people from Emikpan village, a development that made them to overpower the men though “they were unarmed”.

However it was gathered that the Surveyor was spared after it was discovered that he was not a native of Gaba village but not before he was inflicted with injuries resulting in his being hospitalised at the Federal Medical Centre in Bida.

Afraid of reprisal, it was gathered that the entire Anfani community had been deserted with some of the villagers reportedly taking refuge at the Etsu Nupe’s palace in Bida.

As a result of the disturbance it was gathered that the district head of Gaba, Alhaji Abdullahi Manko, who was reported to have been posted to the Gaba community by the Etsu Nupe, was forced to also take refuge in Bida.

The police on Friday evacuated 8 corpses from the troubled area and deposited them at the Bida general hospital mortuary.

When contacted, Police Public Relations Officer DSP Muhammad Abubakar confirmed the incident, adding that the Police Area Commander in Bida has led heavily armed operatives to the area to restore peace.

DSP Muhammad Abubakar said no arrest had been made and that investigation into the disturbance had commenced.

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