Communal Clash Claims Eight in Niger

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Laleye Dipo in Minna

Not fewer than 8 persons have been confirmed killed in a communal conflict that broke out between the Gaba and Anfani communities in the Lavun Local Government Area of Niger state.

THISDAY findings revealed that the incident occurred precisely on Thursday, noting that some of the victims of the communal clash were beheaded.

On account told THISDAY that one of the victims had his two feet cut off, tracing that the dispute between the communities to a parcel of land which the Gaba community were said to have given to their Anfani counterparts over 50 years ago.

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

THISDAY learnt that to enforce the court decision, the Gaba community sent 11 men to the disputed land to carry out its survey. One of the eleven people was a surveyor from the State Ministry of Works.

According to another account, the people of Gaba laid ambush against their Anfani people, thereby slaughtering them like goats. The assailants were assisted by some people from Emikpan village a development that made them to overpower them.

However, it was gathered that the surveyor was spared after it was discovered that he was not a native of Gaba.

He was attacked and inflicted with injuries. He was eventually 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, findings revealed that the District Head of Gaba, Alhaji Abdullahi Manko was forced to abdicate his throne to also take refuge in Bida, even though the Etsu Nupe was said to have been posted to the community.

The Niger State Police Command evacuated eight from the troubled area and deposited them at the Bida General Hospital Mortuary.

When contacted on phone yesterday, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Muhammad Abubakar confirmed the incident, noting that the Police Area Commander in Bida had led heavily armed operatives to the area to restore peace.

Abubakar, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), noted that no arrest had been made and that investigation into the disturbance had commenced.