At least 15 people lost their lives and many properties were destroyed as a result of a communal clash between Waja and Lunguda ethnic group in the Balanga local government area of Gombe State.
The incident which broke up on Monday night affected three communities of Nyuwar, Jessu and Yolde respectively.
Gov. Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State in his effort to douse the tension in the communities, had earlier convened an security meeting in his office which as a result, imposes 24 hours curfew in the three affected communities with immediate effect.
In a statement on Tuesday by Ismaila Uba Misilli, the governor’s spokesman said the governor visited the three communities, sympathized with them and assured that his administration will not fold its arms and allow this callous act to continue.
‘As you can see I am leading all heads of security agencies in Gombe State to your community just to show you how committed the government is in ensuring that this crisis is brought to an end,’ he said.
He appealed to the people, and assured them that, he will immediately provide relief materials to the victims to cushion their sufferings.
‘Let me extend my heartfelt condolences to you over the loss of precious lives and property as a result of this senseless act. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and as a responsible government, we are conscious of our responsibilities of safeguarding the lives and property of our people,’ Gov. Yahaya added.
At Nyuwar, the representative of the district head, Mr. Yohanna Istifanus while narrating the event said, ‘we were asleep with our families in our homes only to have seen an armed militia with various kinds of dangerous weapons setting our houses and food storage facilities ablaze and asking us to vacate from the land else they will wipe the entire Lunguda tribal communities.
‘The attack has claimed 8 lives of our people as we were caught off guards and the attackers have threatened to return tonight with the expectation of having a field day like they did earlier but with the presence of the governor and his prompt intervention through the deployment of security agencies we feel happy and pray the law will take its course on the perpetrators,’ he narrated.
While at Jessu, a community leader, Mr. Jason Jase who conducted the governor round, said they lost 7 persons in the community and several houses and food storage facilities were incinerated.
The community leaders thanked Gov. Yahaya for his timely intervention which they said will go along way in limiting the level of damages the crisis could have caused and instilling in them.
About Balanga local government area
Balanga is a local government area in the south East of Gombe State, Nigeria, bordering Adamawa State.
It’s headquarters are in the town of Tallase. Over half of the population are Muslims and Waja is the widely spoken language.
By Lawan Abdulkadir