One person has been killed during a clash between members of a Muslim community and traditional worshipers tagged as masquerades in Osun State during a festival celebration.
The incident which took place on Sunday at the Oluode Arayin area of Osogbo, the state capital, also left 12 others with severe injuries.
Members of the lslamic society alleged that the traditional worshippers stormed the area to disrupt a programme that was going on and later started shooting, killing one person in the process and injuring others while some vehicles and other properties were vandalised.
They said the victim that was shot during the attack died on his way to the hospital while others who sustained various degrees of injuries were taken to the state hospital.
Members of the Islamic group said this is not the first time that this is happening, saying a similar incident happened in 2004.
An unconfirmed report indicated that two unidentified persons were killed in the attack.
The Public Relations Officer, Ondo State Police Command, ASP Tee-Leo Ikoro, confirmed the incident to Channels Television.
Ikoro however said he is not aware that lives were lost in the attacks. He added that he is yet to be fully briefed on the extent of the damage done.
Ondo State has witnessed increased in crime rate with the recent murder of a prominent traditional ruler Oba Israel Adeusi in Ose Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
Also, the Ondo State Security Network Agency, also called Amotekun Corps earlier in December arrested some herdsmen armed with dangerous weapons while rearing their cows, entering farmlands, eating and destroying planted crops.
Amotekun vowed that they are not relenting in flushing out criminals from the state.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has read a riot act to miscreants and hoodlums in Lagos, urging them to be law abiding and peaceful or face the full wrath of the law.
Speaking during a visit to Fagba in Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area of Lagos State to assess the level of destruction of properties caused by last week’s ethnic clash between Yoruba and Hausa community in the area, Sanwo-Olu said the state government would be hard and very decisive on miscreants if they refuse to turn a new leaf.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, who was accompanied by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folasade Jaji, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Tokunbo Wahab and Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, assured residents of Fagba who were affected by the ethnic clashes that the state government would assist to alleviate their pains.
“The level of destruction that I have seen here is colossal; it is unfortunate. Enumeration would start immediately by the two local governments. The council chairmen and all the community leaders will come together and come up with a list of those whose properties have been destroyed,” he said.
“The security operatives are here; they can hear everything. We are using this opportunity to give notices to all the miscreants in the neighbourhood and that is why I am looking at you.
“If you know that you are not doing any work and that you are one of the people that have caused this trouble, we are giving you the final notice because we are coming to clear this whole place.”
Stressing the need for miscreants to vacate Fagba, the governor said: “We are coming to clear this whole place and we will make sure that you do not disturb or harass the peace loving people that we have in this neighbourhood. We have Hausa community; Igbo community and Yoruba community and they are living well.
“You need to look for what to do; we will not allow you to come and tarnish the image and the peace that we have in Fagba and in Lagos State as a whole.
“We will make sure that we also come and see what we can do to help the youth. And once we do that, we are giving you an opportunity to remain law abiding and be peaceful. If not, we will be hard and be very decisive on all of you.”
Two bodies have been recovered, with 50 houses burnt in the violence which erupted in some communities in Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State.
The bodies of the two victims have been deposited at the Afikpo general hospital.
Cross River State Police command in reaction to the incident told journalists that troops have been deployed to the warring communities in a bid to restore calm and forestall further breakdown of law and order.
The Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, who led his personnel to the affected communities gave the assurance that modalities are in place to put an end to the incessant clashes. He said the communal clash is a result of a land tussle.
The state governor, Professor Ben Aayade also reacting to the violence called on the Federal Government to intervene and ensure a clear boundary demarcation in the warring communities across the state.
Communities affected by the communal violence which erupted since Monday, December 3, include Urugbam, Egbor, Ipene, and Abanwan in Biase Local Government Area.
He also urged the people of the areas to allow law and order to prevail, adding that “Our communities must be ready to live together in peace since no development can take place in an atmosphere of recurring violence.”
The Cross River State Police Command has denied reports that the clash between four communities in Biase Local Government Area of the State, had claimed several lives.
According to the State Commissioner of Police, CP Hafiz Inuwa, the information is fake, misleading and a compendium of lies calculated to cause tension fear and panic in the state.
Speaking to Channels Television at the state CID in Calabar, the capital on Tuesday, the CP, however, admitted that the crisis had been ongoing for a while now, following a land tussle between the communities.
The communities are Urugbam, Egbor, Ipene, and Abanwan in Biase Local Government Area.
According to him, security agencies are trying their best to put the situation under control.
He, therefore, enjoined members of the general public to go about their lawful businesses.
In reaction to the situation, President Muhammadu Buhari called for calm in the communities.
He also said residentsmust be ready to live together peacefully.
Furthermore, he commended the state government for the steps taken so far towards bringing peace to the affected areas and also lauded the Police for mobilising its personnel to the affected communities to contain the crisis.
Hundreds of persons have been displaced following a communal clash that erupted between residents of Wanikade and Wanihem communities in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State.
Reports say this is not the first time both communities are clashing over issues of land ownership although this one which occurred on June 27 and 29 appears to be the most devastating, as it has left the community deserted.
Wanikade and Wanihem communities in Yala local government area of Cross River State are neighbouring communities that both share boundaries with Benue State.
The displaced persons are currently being camped at Efiola-Emokpe community in Oju Local Government Area of Benue State and are appealing to the boundary Commission to hasten the land demarcation process in order to forestall a reccurrence.
Meanwhile, the Cross River State Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa has debunked the purported rumours making the rounds that, 150 persons died during the clash.
According to the CP, the clash left one person dead while two others were said to have been abducted by the Wanihem people.
The Jamatu Nasril Islam, JNI, an organisation that represents Islamic groups in Nigeria, have alleged that there is a grand agenda to destabilize the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria.
In a statement by its Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the organisation said that the dimension of extra judicial killing of Muslims by the Military on a mere whim of unsubstantiated suspicion leaves much to be desired, which “clearly depicts that Muslims have become endangered species, murdered and maimed indiscriminately in the guise of fighting terrorism.”
The statement read: “The sad incident of Keana 15 is another scenario where innocent Muslims were mercilessly massacred. These are people who have been exonerated by the State Governor as being peace loving people and law abiding. It is questionable that an operation of this magnitude would be carried-out without the knowledge of the Chief Security Officer of the State, nor other relevant security bodies.”
The group argued that the Benue State Governor and his deputy had recently exonerated the Fulani of Benue for the long outstanding relationship and social cohesion between them. It wondered how this could have suddenly changed and the next neighbour is accused because of his simplicity and unsophistication.
It also noted as painful and unacceptable, the various reports of human rights abuses and massacre of hundreds of Muslims in Maiduguri by the Military, as reported by human rights groups.
“We have found the usage of the term Fulani herdsmen, hiding their religious identity an attempt to wipe out Muslims in the guise of fighting terrorism, as it suits the situation and using Muslim terrorist as it suits the other situation as absurd. Why is it when a Christian commits a crime it is not called a Christian crime or terrorism? The fact remains, crime is crime; it is colourless, tribe less and religious less.”
“It is sad to note that a Muslim milk maid, a mother of five, was raped and killed by a military man around Dei-Dei area of the Federal Capital Territory. We are not aware of any step taken by the military authority on the matter. As usual they will buy time and the case will die naturally.
“We can say without any fear of contradiction that there is a grand agenda to destabilize the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria. If any Nigerian is in doubt regarding the hidden grand agenda to destabilize Muslims in Nigeria, and cautiously reduce their rising human capital, then the Zamfara State incidence should have removed this doubt.
“An event where vigilante personnel working to restore peace would be the subject of a grand massacre, tells much about the chaos and insecurity some enemies want to push our states into. We call on all our Governors, politicians and indeed every well-meaning citizen to do something before it gets out of hand.
The group warned the military that it was extremely dangerous to polarize security agencies along religious line as this would have far reaching negative effect in the country, especially at a time where the efforts of all are required to cushion the effect of the pains the people are passing through.
The group demanded the bringing to justice of the perpetrators of all crimes against innocent citizens who have the right to practice the religion they choose.
No Faith Or Ethnic Group Is Target Of Counter-Terrorism Campaign
Meanwhile, the military has referred to the statement issued by the Secretary-General of Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI), Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu as spurious and inflammatory.
The Director, Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, said in a statement that it was imperative to set the records straight, much as the military was reluctant to join issues with a respectable religious organisation like JNI.
The statement read: “The Nigerian military remains non-partisan, non-sectarian and will continue to be the symbol of patriotism and a unifying factor in the face of threats to national sovereignty. If this wild allegation was meant to cause disaffection or brew disharmony within the military, then it has woefully failed as the Nigerian military does not operate along religious or ethnic lines.
“Contrary to the false claims, no law abiding individual, faith, ethnic group or organisation is being targeted as alleged by JNI. It is unfortunate that the unjust imputation is coming from a respectable and responsible organisation like JNI. We urge the body not to join in the fray of propagandists bent on discrediting genuine efforts at finding solutions to the nation’s security challenges”, the statement read.
The military promised that it would continue to be driven by patriotism and commitment to the cause of the nation and its law abiding citizens.
It called on all responsible organisations to cooperate in the efforts at addressing the nation’s security challenges rather than compound the problem, advising that individuals with similar prejudices should abandon such biases as the challenges at hand call for prayers and support of all well-meaning organisations and groups.
It added that the Armed Forces comprises Nigerians from all religious persuasions and could not be used against any particular religion as purported, as the military would not be distracted by unfair imputations from any quarter.
The statement concluded: “Individuals apprehended in the course of counter-terrorism campaign will continue to have access to justice as provided by law.“
The Nasarawa State Government has called for a review of the military operations in the state, following Thursday’s killing of herdsmen in Keana Local Government Area.
Governor Tanko Al-Makura made the call when he paid a condolence visit to the affected village where scores of Fulani herdsmen were attack during a burial ceremony.
He described the attack as misplaced priority by the military authority, who were deployed for counter insurgency operations.
He added that the attack on the residents while performing a funeral ceremony was totally out of place and promised to take up the matter at the appropriate level and ensure justice is done.
“This is a settlement that has been there for decades, they were mourning the death of an elderly person and all of a sudden, soldiers came and gathered all of them and pulled them to a nearby place, not more that 100metres away.
“They were crying and yelling that they were mourning the death of an elderly person. They wouldn’t hear any of that and before you realise they had shot all of them, and what I seem to be hearing is that these were insurgents.
“I think it has to be corrected. This is a settlement that everybody knows within the vicinity of Keana Local Government, they couldn’t have been insurgents”, the Governor said.
A 24-hour curfew has been placed on Wukari town in Taraba state after a communal clash left 39 people dead, 30 injured and about 30 houses burnt.
The Taraba state police public relations officer, Mr Joseph Kwaji, who disclosed this, stated that the injured persons are now receiving treatment in various hospitals in the town, while 30 persons had been arrested in connection with the crisis.
Mr kwaji explained that the situation has been brought under control and the town is now relatively calm as more security officers have been deployed to the area.
Crisis broke out in Wukari on Friday during a funeral procession for a third class chief of the Jukun Traditional Council.
The violence reportedly started when the mourners passed through a section of the town, chanting slogans which allegedly angered the residents of the area.
The incident comes after a panel was set up to investigate clashes which occurred in the same town in February owing to a football dispute which claimed several lives.