At least 25 people have been feared killed in a fresh communal clash that broke out yesterday in the ancient city of Wukari in Taraba State.
Scores of people also sustained varying degrees of injuries while several houses were razed in the clash which broke out in the early hours of yesterday while residents were preparing to go to church.
The latest crisis is coming barely six weeks after the Jukuns and Tivs, as well as the Fulanis signed an agreement to permanently bring to an end the incessant communal clashes in the town.
The peace agreement, which was brokered by the acting governor of the state, Alhaji Garba Umar, was signed on behalf of the Jukuns by the Chairman of Jukun Cultural Association, Mr. Zando Hoku, the Chairman of Tiv Cultural Association, Mr. James Nugwa, signed on behalf of the Tivs, while Alhaji Mafindi Danburam, Chairman of Miyetti Allah, signed for the Fulanis.
Present at the signing of the agreement which was held on April 30 were the paramount ruler of Jukun Kingdom and Chairman of Taraba Council of Chiefs, Dr. Shekarau Angyo, and the traditional ruler of Ibi, Alhaji Abubakar Saliu Danbauro.
It was gathered by Thisday that yesterday’s outbreak of violence was triggered by the discovery that a shop very close to a church belonging to a Muslim was burnt, prompting the owner of the shop to immediately mobilise people to attack the man he suspected to have burnt his shop.
The attack on the man did not go down well with other residents who attempted to repel the attack, leading to full blown hostilities and the use of guns and other dangerous weapons.
The Taraba State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Joseph Kwajim who confirmed the incident to Thisday said four corpses had so far been recovered while investigations into the incident were ongoing.
He however disclosed that the men of the command had succeeded in bringing the situation under control, adding that the joint team of the police and army had intensified patrols in the area. He said relative calm had been restored in the area.
Residents and eyewitnesses however revealed that no fewer than 25 people were killed in the clash, just as they acknowledged the efforts of security agencies to bring the situation under control. [Thisday]