Two individuals have lost their lives, and more than 70 houses have been destroyed in a violent conflict between two communities in Kogi State.
The involved parties are Oturpo-Ojile and Ochi-Ibadan, both located within the Ankpa Local Government Area.
The dispute reportedly ignited following the alleged murder of a man from Oturpo-Ojile by residents of Ochi-Ibadan.
The victim was said to be returning from Lagos to his village when the tragic incident occurred.
In retaliation, youths from Oturpo-Ojile launched an attack on Ochi-Ibadan, resulting in the burning of over 70 houses.
The aftermath of this reprisal has escalated tensions between the two communities.
The incident was confirmed by Akus Lawal, a member representing the Ankpa I state constituency, during a session at the Kogi State House of Assembly on Thursday.
He said, “The sad incident occurred on January 14, 2024. The communal clash between two communities is very worrisome and should not repeat itself again.
“We were informed that the death of one man from Oturpo-Ojile while returning from a journey led to a reprisal attack by his people on Ochi-Ibadan village whom they accused to have caused the death of their son. Over 70 houses and many properties in Ochi-Ibadan were burnt down.
“We must commend the Commissioner of Police who went to this community for an on-the-spot assessment and the Kogi State Government under Alhaji Yahaya Bello for the quick response. We are praying that such communal clashes will not happen in our land again.”
He, however, appealed with the Kogi State Emergency Management Agency to immediately provide relief materials for all the affected victims of the communal clash.
The spokesman for the state police command, SP William Aya, confirmed the incident to Punch.
He said 30 houses were razed, while several properties were destroyed.
He said that the state commissioner of police, Bethrand Onuoha, has visited the two communities while normalcy has been restored.
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