In a renewed hostility between Egbura and Bassa-Komu ethnic tribes in Bassa Local government areas of Kogi State, over ten people have lost their lives, with many receiving injuries.
This is following the return of the Egbura people who were displaced from their various communities due to the crisis which started last year April.
The Kogi state police command Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP William Aya confirmed the ugly development on Thursday in Lokoja , saying that the situation was under control.
He said two people lost their lives in the renewed fight between the two warring ethnic tribes who have been at dagger drawn in the eastern part of the state for months.
ASP Aya, however, added that the state police command had drafted a team of Mobile Policemen, conventional Police and Army, Assistant commissioner of police in charge of Operation, including Police Area commanders to the affected areas to restore normalcy as quickly as possible.
“Two people were killed. One yesterday, and the second, today. Calm has returned in the affected areas. The CP in charge of operation, mobile police, conventional police, Area commanders and Army are already there to restore law and order as soon as possible”, he said
It was gathered that following the intervention of elders from the area, the Egbura speaking people who left their homes as a result of the crisis were asked to go back home by the state government in order to pave way for a lasting peace among the two ethnic groups.
In the spirit of reconciliation, the Egbura refugees who were accompanied by the security operatives and political appointees, including the Bassa local government administrator, Samuel Alumka and others returned to Oguma, the headquarters of Bassa local government on Wednesday, from where they were expected to go to their various villages and communities.
It was alleged that an uncomplimentary remarks from the paramount ruler of Bassa-Komu ethnic group, the Aguma of Bassa, William Keke sparked up the latest crisis, for saying that the returning Egbura people should go back to Lokoja or where they have been staying all this while.
A source also posited that the Ohiogba of Mozum, Alhaji Halidu Bukar Ali and other Egbura leaders who were at Aguma of Bassa’s palace to receive their people back home were nearly ambushed if not the intervention of the security operatives that brought the situation under control.
It was learnt that the escape from an ambush by the Ohiogba of Mozum and the Egbura leaders from Aguma palace and the said “unguarded statement” from the Royal father spread out quickly to various communities of the council, leaving trail of anger and violence.
In the process, over ten people were said to have lost their lives in some of the affected communities.
It was reported that two residents of Mozum, kagiwa Hussain and Aminu Usman who were returning from Oguma to Mozum were killed by hooligans in millitary uniform believed to be sponsored by one of the warring factions.
As of the time of this report, hostility is said to have relapsed in Ibiroko, Oguma, Sheria, Auta and Ojugbe towns, while that at Ikede is said to be ranging on with heavy casualty on both sides.