Tragedy struck in Ijero-Ekiti, headquarters of Ijero Local Government Area of Ekiti State, on Monday, as a seven-year-old boy shot his mate to death with his father’s gun.
The incident, which occurred in the community at the weekend, the Nigerian Tribune gathered, had caused tension in the town as the boy who pulled the trigger was said to be an indigene while his victim was from the eastern part of the country.
It was gathered that the incident, which many described as “an unfortunate accident”, had initially brought the town to a halt as the initial news about the incident was that “a Yoruba boy has killed an Igbo boy in Ijero.”
However, tension was doused when the leaders of the town, especially the Owa Ajero of Ijero-Ekiti, Oba Joseph Adewole, the police and other stakeholders intervened.
Speaking on the incident, Oba Adewole said: “Two seven-year-old boys, one from Ijero and the other from Igboland, were said to be playing with a gun belonging to the Ijero boy’s father. We learnt that he didn’t know that it was loaded and he shot and killed the other boy.
“It created a lot of anger and tension, especially among the Igbos in the town, who naturally expressed dismay. But we calmed them and pleaded with them to understand that this was an unfortunate accident involving two young, innocent boys.
“It is not Ijero fighting Igbo and we have been living in peace in Ijero. The Igbo businessmen in Ijero are living in peace and there is no rancour. We explained all these to douse the tension and put the incident in proper perspective.
“The police have also waded into the matter and we know they would conduct their investigation and we wish to appeal to the people to remain calm.”
The Public Relations Officer of the Ekiti police command, Mr Alberto Adeyemi, confirmed the incident.
The PPRO said: “What we learnt was that two seven-year-olds were playing with a loaded gun and one shot the other and he died. We are already on top of the situation.”
Adeyemi said the incident had been reported by the police hierarchy in Ijero division and explained that the matter was still being investigated by the State Criminal Investigation Department and would give further details at a later date.