… Gov. Bello calls for calm, says perpetrators would be dealt with

 

 

By Musa Adamu – Udogbo

There was renewed fresh crisis at Udogbo and Mozum town in Bassa Local Government Area of Kogi State.

Our correspondent in Bassa reports that gun shots were heard at Udogbo a Bassa community town in the early hours of thursday. Residents ran for their dear lives and deserted the town.

Towards three o’clock in the evening sporadic gun shots which lasted for three hours erupted at Mozum. Community members were said to have deserted the town.

Some of the indigines who remained behind had conflicting reports on the renewed crisis in the area. One Mallam Yaro who prefers anonymity stated that the thursday crisis was an offshot of last week crisis which claimed both Igburra and Bassa people lives.

According to him “the thursday crisis started with Udogbo community waking up with sporadic gun shots while the people ran helter skelter for their lives” He added that he was not too sure if it is Udogbo people who mobilized themselves and took the fight to Mozum community since they are said to be suspicious of Mozum people who had invaded their community last week killing and burning their houses.

Mallam Yaro however said people who ran from the fireworks at Mozum told him that many houses were burnt at Mozum with casualties. He also said an unconfirmed source has it that even the palace of the Ohiagba of Mozum was touched but he could not confirm since he cannot access the community.

He called on the State government to beef up security in Bassa to halt the continued blood letting. He added that in the last four years business activities has nosedived due to the incessant conflict in the area.

He maintained that development has continued to elude Bassa Local Government Area due to the conflict. He cited the example of the Oguma/Sheria bridge which collapsed over fourteen years ago and nothing has been done by it by the state government.

As at the time of filing this report the number of casualties in the renewed clashes was yet to be ascertained

Speaking on the incident, the Kogi State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Williams Ayah, confirmed the renewed attacks, but said normalcy has returned to the area. He however could not confirm the casualties as mentioned by unconfirmed sources said the command was still awaiting the details of the incident.

 

Meanwhile, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has called for calm among the Ebira Mozum and Bassa komu ethnic groups in the Bassa Local Government Area of the State following the renewed outbreak of the crisis in the area.

The governor, in a statement issued on Friday by his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed, expressed concern over the incident, assuring that the government was on top of the matter.

Governor Bello assured the people of Bassa that the government had received intelligence information on the situation and vowed that those masterminding the unfortunate ethnic crisis in the area will surely face the full wrath of the law.

The statement noted that following the gruesome killing of a palm wine tapper and another farmer on Monday, the government acted swiftly and ensured the deployment of security agencies made up of the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy with three gunboats, the DSS, the Nigerian Police, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and local vigilantes to restore peace both on land and sea in the area. The Governor directed security agencies to hold ground with enough deployment at major communities and ensure no further life is lost while providing adequate intelligence gathering to unravel those behind it, assuring that perpetrators will not go unpunished.

Bello said the government has gone far in identifying the culprits, promising adequate sanctions will be taken against the perpetrators.

 

The statement disclosed that some leaders on both sides have been invited to provide the Government with what they know about the crisis warning that crisis in Bassa Local Government Area must come to an end.

The Governor expressed his condolences to the family of 9 persons that have lost their lives in the crisis, praying for God to grant them the fortitude to bear the loss of their loved ones.


By joshua

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