By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna.
Three people were killed between Thursday and Friday as Gbagyi farmers in Yadna ward of Garattu village of Bosso local government area of Niger state clashed with local Fulani nomads living in the area.
The incident which is coming on the heels of yet to be resolved similar clashes between the two ethic groups elsewhere in the same Bosso council and other parts of the state at Tungan Malam area of Paiko, and Shiroro as well as in Sarkin Pawa in Munya council, had forced the state Governor out of his mourning period to visit the troubled spot.
Following his visit, the state Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello warned that his administration will stop at nothing to deal decisively with anyone or group of persons, no matter how highly placed if anyone takes the laws into his or her hands in any circumstance henceforth.The Governor said those who resort to “self help” for vengeance by engaging in wanton destruction of lives and property in reaction to provocation and or assault, run the risk of invoking the wrath of the state. He said the state remains the only protector, defender and avenger for all aggrieved persons.
Governor Bello who bore his anger over the recent killing of three persons including a Mobile Police man at Yadna village of Garattu ward of Bosso local government area following a clash between the locals, the Gbagyis and Fulanis, said people must learn to live together and work out conflict resolution mechanisms rather than draw their daggers at the slightest provocations.
The Governor was in the village for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation where it was gathered that a band of local Fulani herdsmen were said to have encroached into a farm belonging to a Gbagyi man and grazed on the unharvested yams which led to a clash between the Gbagyis and Fulani nomads living in the area.
Apparently angered by yet another ugly confrontation between the two, Governor Bello told the warring Gbagyi and Fulani communities that the state government would no longer condone such barefaced intolerance and animosity between them.
While expressing his administration’s displeasure over the one too many clashes between the two, Governor Bello warned that his administration will not allow any group of persons to turn the state into theatre of blood letting, violence and destruction.
Our correspondent gathered that one of the aggrieved locals had shot and killed two Fulanis while the Fulanis had during a night raid, took their reprisal attacks on Gbagyi community and killed one person and scores of others badly butchered during the night attack.
Security operatives deployed to the affected community to maintain law and order were not spared as the Fulani vented their spleen on a Mobile Police man on sentry and killed him instantly for standing on their way to get at the Gbagyi people.
Governor Bello described as very unbecoming and unfortunate the easy resort to killings and destruction by people who have lived together in the past. He said the situation where people snuff life out of another was not only sad but barbaric.
He vowed that the government will not spare anyone found wanting in the course of the investigation. He assured that full investigation would be conducted and all those found wanting would be made to face the full wrath of the law no matter their status.
Governor Bello admonished the warring communities to continue to live in peace and harmony with one another and warned that any further act of aggression by anybody or group of persons would be met by the naked and crude might of the state.
“It is unfortunate that people are taking laws into their hands. This community in the last 2 days, has been misled by the actions of few persons. I am here personally to see the true situations of things. We are on top of the situation, and we are collaborating with security agencies to ensure that such incidence do not occur again”.The Governor tasked traditional rulers across the state, particularly village Heads and community leaders in the various wards of the state to synergize with security agencies in maintaining law and order in their respective domains.He warned that “we will not tolerate this lawlessness and destruction any longer. Those who take laws into their hands, whether they are Gbagyis or Fulanis, i have directed that appropriate steps measures be taken to deal with anyone found wanting”.