Thursday, December 9, 2021

Gunmen kill six, burn down palace, houses in Kogi

According to a witness, the attack must have stemmed from a clash between Bagana and Patani communities over the ownership of a piece of land.

• October 27, 2021
Kogi Commissioner of Police, Idrisu Dauda Dabban

Six persons were killed with some houses burnt by unknown gunmen in a Monday morning attack on the Bagana community of Omala Local Government, Kogi.

The Commissioner of Police in Kogi, Idrisu Dabban, confirmed the incident to reporters after a visit to the area.

Mr Dabban had assured the people that the command, under his watch, would put every necessary machinery in motion to put an end to the frequent communal clashes in the area.

The Commissioner of police also assured that necessary measures would be taken to forestall the resurgence of the clashes in the local government.

The attackers had gone straight to the palace of a traditional ruler, Anyebe Salifu, whose stool was classified as a third-class only a fortnight ago.

According to a witness, Yakubu Salifu, who is also the son of the traditional ruler, the assailants invaded the community at about 7:30 a.m. when most of the youth in the community had gone to the farm, and headed straight to the palace of the traditional ruler.

They were said to have set the palace ablaze and in the process shot and killed three persons, including Achebe Alih, popularly known as Mama Teacher.

The witness hinted that the incident had nothing to do with herdsmen, saying it must have stemmed from a clash between Bagana and Patani communities over the ownership of a piece of land.

The killing and arson perpetrated by the assailants, according to sources, made the villagers run into the bush for safety.

Members of the community were said to be returning home and gradually settling down from a quasi exile, having escaped and relocated to other communities after similar hostilities earlier.

A reliable source said the attackers who were possibly linked to a clan opposed the ascendancy of the traditional ruler and had planned to disrupt his coronation.

The plan was, however, leaked to Mr Salifu, forcing him to suspend the ceremony, but the attackers went ahead to attack the palace.

They were alleged to have completely burnt down his palace, car and other properties belonging to him, notable political leaders and traditional rulers as well as close family members.

This reportedly led to reprisals, more killings and arson.

The Omala council chairman, Ibrahim Aboh, also appealed to the community, particularly the youth of Bagana, to remain calm and urged them to resist the temptation to embark on a reprisal.

Mr Aboh assured them that the state government was already making efforts to resolve the dispute.

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