Over five hours of gun fight between persons suspected to be Eggon militiamen and Fulani mercenaries hit Kwandere in Nasarawa State yesterday.
State deputy governor Dameshi Barau Luka, who was compelled to make a state-wide broadcast on the state owned Nasarawa Broadcasting Service (NBS), could not confirm details of the crisis, including death toll but called for calm, just as he said security personnel were detailed to bring normalcy.
But Daily Trust learnt that many were killed in Angwan Amanza, where the two ethnic groups first clashed, in Kwandere, where the fight heightened and in Ombi II area of Lafia, where tension continued to build up. Displaced persons, who ran into Lafia, said the two ethnic groups which have had weeks of bloody clash in not less than 12 different villages in five local government areas of Kokona, Doma, Nasarawa Eggon, Nasarawa, and now Lafia, clashed at about 12pm in Angwan Amanza, a village outside Kwandere.
They said the clash, which also saw many properties destroyed either by burning, or mauling down, spilled into Kwandere, after one side retreated and fled into the town to take refuge. The displaced persons also said they were waylaid along two major roads leading to Lafia, from Kwandere, as they tried to flee their homes, into Lafia, saying the fight dragged into the two major roads linking to College of Agriculture and Nasarawa State Polytechnic and Railway Line area blocking passage.
Meanwhile, Eggon and Fulani leaderships in the state continued to blame each other, with Eggon Cultural Development Association (ECDA) on one hand alleging that Fulanis started the fight while Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association on the other alleged that Fulanis never had any clash with Eggons but that Eggons opened attack on Gwandara people of Kwandere.
State police spokesman, DSP Michael Adah, confirmed the violence but declined giving details including death toll.