36 die in Plateau, Kano clashes

Posted by Webby on 6/20/2002 8:42:21 AM
Post Comment 36 die in Plateau, Kano clashes Nigeria
THIRTY people have been reported killed in the Kassa hamlet of Barkin-Ladi Local Government Council of Plateau State on Monday in a violent communal clash between people suspected to be Fulani herdsmen and the indigenes, Berom.

Also, six people have died in Kano in a vicious fight among rival urchins. But the Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Innocent Ilozuoke, declined to confirm the casualty figures to the press. He said he had already briefed the Inspector-General of Police in Abuja on the incident. He directed reporters to go and authenticate their figures there.

At the hamlet which is now manned by stern-looking armed mobile policemen, the few indigenes seen around narrated their ordeal, stressing that they were attacked in the night while they were sleeping.

They added, however, that since the attack was in the night, it was difficult to properly identify their attackers.

The agitated villagers spoke in chorus and disclosed that those who died in the incident were more than 30.

Some of them claimed it was a reprisal attack because during the September 7, 2001 incident, the Ardo (Fulani chief) of Vom was killed by the natives while their cattle were slaughtered.

But a Fulani herdsman said it was they who were attacked by the natives.

The man said that the Fulani herdsmen were given an ultimatum by the Berom to quit, adding that the deadline had not expired when the natives came and started killing them.

Another version had it that when the herdsmen attacked the Berom first, the Berom, knowing the Fulani's havens in the bush, went there and chased them out, killed and maimed some of them who were not smart enough to runaway.

These sporadic attacks also spread to Kwi village of Riyom Local Government Council of the state where casualties were recorded.

A small settlement, Raho-Loyal, also in Barkin Ladi was said have also been attacked by unknown people in the night where one native was killed.

It was gathered that when the indigenes heard that one of their kinsmen had been killed, they ordered the Fulani to pack out immediately.

But while moving out, the Fulani were said to have promised to come for a reprisal attack. This also sent panic to the Rahol people who immediately packed out and reported the matter to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Barkin-Ladi council.

Although the authorities of Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) refused to comment on the casualty figures, sources confirmed that it was in the hospital as a result of the clashes.

Other victims were in the mortuaries at Vom Hospital and Plateau Specialist Hospital.

The Berom traditional rulers met yesterday as a result of what they called "government's indifference" to the incessant attacks.

Sources among the rulers lamented that the government could not take care of their safety and as a result they were meeting to devise a means to provide security for themselves.

A group of urchins otherwise known as Yaudabas have gained notoriety for maiming and killing helpless residents of Kano city especially during religious, political and ethnic crises in recent times.

But this time around, it was a fight between vengeance-seeking Kofar Wambai quarters Yaudaba group and their Fagge quarters counterparts over the killing of one of their colleagues recently.

A witness said that the Kofar Wambai group was attacked while conveying the body of the deceased whose identity is unknown at the Maigeza cemetery in the heart of the city for burial.

He said: "They were suddenly attacked by the Yaudabas suspected to come from Fagge who were just relaxing at the Kano abattoir area."

During the ensuing confrontation, knives and dangerous weapons were freely used. A timely intervention of armed policemen saved the situation from getting out of hand.

When contacted, the newly appointed Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. K.Z. Dari, said he was yet to be briefed by the concerned divisional police officer of the area but he promised to investigate the matter accordingly.

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