A disagreement over ownership of a farmland and five fishing ponds between the people of Kabawa in Lokoja and the Onumaye people of Kotokarfe Local Councils of Kogi State yesterday turned bloody.
Scores were reportedly injured and many houses burnt by suspected irate youths.
The crises started when two Kabawa boys were abducted from their farms on the island.
It was learnt that youths from Onumaye village, numbering over 100, armed with cutlasses and other dangerous weapons, went on a reprisak attack..
On hearing the news of the attack, the youths from Kabawa went on rampage, attacking anybody believed to be close to the chief of Onumaye. Houses were burnt and in the process, one Baba Salisu was stabbed to death in his father’s house.
Speaking to journalists in his palace in Lokoja, the Ward Head of Zone E, Mallam Abubakar Yahaya, said the crisis over the land and the ponds started when one Yakubu Danjuma became a chief in Onumaye. He built his palace in Kabawa and claimed ownership of the land.
According to him, the people of Kabawa have been living in peace with their neighbours, adding that the recent skirmishes came as a surprise to him.
“We inherited the ponds and farmland from our forefathers, over 150 years ago. The fishing festival has been celebrated yearly and people from all over have been coming to grace the occasion.
“But when Danjuma was turbaned early this year, and when he was supposed to relocate to his village to rule his people, he stayed put in Lokoja, claiming the ownership of this land…”
Meanwhile the Lokoja monarch, Alhaji Muhammad Kabir Makarfi 111, has urged the people to respect the rights of others and stop acts of violence, saying what happened was alien to his people.
He charged the people to allow the security agents to do their job and warned whoever found wanting would face the wrath of the law.