Many feared dead, houses burnt in Kogi communal crisis

Many were feared dead, while many houses were burnt in Bassa-Komo, Bassa Local Government Area of Kogi State, when fight broke out between the Ebira and the native Bassa people in the area.

It was gathered that the fight, which had been a reoccurring development in the last few years again escalated in the morning of Monday.

Nigerian Tribune learnt that the crisis broke out when youths from the riverine community engaged in supremacy battle over the ownership of the land in the community.

The Ebira in Bassa, who were said to have ancestral link with the Ebira-Koto in Kogi Local Government of the state, were said to have inhabited the community for a long time engaging in fishing activities in the area.

The latest onslaught was said to have led to serious attack with casualties on both sides and wanton destruction of properties in the community.

Dangerous weapons like guns, daggers, knife and cub were said to have been freely used in the clash that lasted for Many hours.

Many houses were said to have been set ablaze during the attack that was said to have lasted for several hours, leading to pandemonium among the native community with residents scampering for safety.

Many school children were also said to have been missing during the attack as parents rushed to withdraw their wards from the schools in the area.

Although the school children were said to have been found later after several hours of search by their parents.

It was learnt that the crisis and the destruction were aided by the peculiar terrain of the community which can only be easily accessed by water.

Sources also stated that some of the security operatives deployed to quell the crisis were involved in accident at Odenyi and sustained various degree of inquiries.

Unconfirmed reports however said that two of the security agents lost their lives to the accident.

Confirming the incident, the state commissioner of police, Abdulahi Chafe, said it was true that there was a clash in the community.

He however said he could not give detail of the casualties or destruction because he was yet to have complete information because of the terrain of the area involved.

The police commissioner, who said that by today (Tuesday), he would have detailed report of the crisis, said the place was far and no communication service for his men to give him detailed brief about the development.

Corroborating the commissioner, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), William Anya, said house were burnt, but that the Police was yet to have full information.

He however said the community had already been deserted before the arrival of the detachment of police sent to restore sanity in the area.

It was however, gathered that the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello and the police commissioner may be visiting the community today for an on-the-spot assessment.