Kogi community deserted as gunmen kill six, burn houses
No fewer than six people were killed yesterday when gunmen invaded Bagana community in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State.
The attack came barely a month after a similar one led to the death of nine persons, destruction of property worth millions and forceful relocation of hundreds of inhabitants to neighbouring communities.
It was gathered that many people were injured while others were forced to abandon their homes as a result of the attack, which started on Monday morning.
The Guardian learnt the latest attack was as a result of the tussle between the people of Bagana and Patani community over the ownership of a piece of land.
The gunmen reportedly struck about 7:30 a.m. in the morning when most of the youths in the community had gone to the farm. The attackers who were said to have gone straight to the House of one Chief Salifu Anyebe, who had his stool classified to third class a fortnight ago , set the palace ablaze and in the process , shot three persons including one Madam Achebe Alih popularly known as Mama Teacher to death.
The attack left houses and business centres in ruins, while the palace and a vehicle belonging to the traditional ruler of Bagana, were not spared by the assailants.
The Guardian learnt that a reprisal led to the burning down of the palace of the Oga Onu Ife, a paramount ruler and the District Head of Bagana, Chief Alih Haruna, and other houses belonging to some notable inhabitants.
According to sources, a house belonging to the serving councillor, representing the district, Hon. Alidu Usman Idakwo and those of other tribes were not spared.
The son of the traditional ruler of the community, Salifu Yakubu , who witnessed the incident, said the attack had nothing to do with herders, but a fallout of a communal clash.
The Chairman of Omala LGA, Ibrahim Abo, who confirmed the incident, during a visit to the crisis ridden community, appealed to the youths of Bagana to remain calm.
According to him, the temptation to embark on a reprisal must be resisted as the state government is already making efforts to resolve the dispute.
Also, the Commissioner of Police in Kogi State, Idrisu Dabban, who led top officers of the command to Bagana for an on-the-spot assessment, assured residents that the command under his leadership would not relent on its oars, until the communal crisis was brought to an end. He added that the police have put necessary measures in place to forestall a reoccurrence of such an incident in the council.