Communal Clashes Claim 20 Lives in Kogi

  • Landmine kills five farmers in Borno

Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri and Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja

The communal clashes between the people of Igburra Mozum and Bassa Kwomu in Bassa Local Government Area (LGA) of Kogi State Thursday claimed no fewer than 20 lives

This is coming as five farmers were said to have been killed on Wednesday near Maiduguri in Borno State when their vehicle hit a landmine planted near a road.

The two communities in the last two years have been fighting a supremacy battle, which has claimed many lives with property worth several millions of naira destroyed.

A community leader in Sheria, Mr. Gberegu told journalists yesterday that Igburras in the early hours of yesterday attacked Bassa kwomu and killed no fewer than 20 people, while several houses were burnt.

This, he said was in spite of the January 8 appeal by the state government for a ceasefire by the warring parties.

According to him,”the bridge linking Oguma and Sheria was completely razed down by Igburra militias while Sheria village has been deserted”.

He decried the continued militancy of Igburra Mozum against the Bassa kwomu.

Meanwhile, the Kogi State Police Command’s spokesman, Mr. William Aya, while confirming the incident, said that the police had received a report of clashes in the area and responded by drafting officers from the State Anti-riot squad and conventional police.

According to him, the police found one unknown corpse, which was evacuated immediately while the situation was brought under control.

He said that the state Police Commissioner, Hakeem Busari, has also ordered more officers to be drafted to the area to complement the efforts of those already on ground.

However, the state police command confirmed the death of one person in the clash.

Meanwhile, five farmers were said to have been killed on Wednesday near Maiduguri when their vehicle hit a landmine planted near a road.

A member of the youth vigilante, who spoke to our correspondent anonymously, said that the incident occurred at Addamari, about 20 kilometres from Maiduguri.

He said: “A truck bringing farmers and their harvest of cucumbers from nearby irrigation fields exploded when it hit a mine just outside the town of Addamari, some 20 kilometres from Maiduguri.”

He said the incident also left 20 people injured.

He said: “Five people were killed and 20 injured in the explosion.”

According to him, “The truck was returning from the fields outside the town around 12. 40 p.m when it hit the mine planted in the middle of the road.”

A resident of Addamari, Abba Yusuf said the explosive might have been planted by a terrorist group.