The presidency condemned the ethnic clash in Taraba State, that led to the senseless slayings of 25 people.
Speaking on the matter, Senior Special Assistant to the Presidency on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu said: “I am deeply disturbed by the resort to violence over disagreements that could be resolved through dialogue.”
Shehu also quoted the president as saying, “these frequent incidents of ethnic and communal violence is a failure of community leadership and the refusal to embrace dialogue as a means of conflict resolution.”
He also said: “Life is so precious that leaders in the area should take urgent and decisive actions to halt this disgraceful slaughter of people.”
Unconfirmed sources say the cause of the crisis was from a disagreement over ownership of ancestral fish ponds between the two fishing communities.
The police say conflicts between these Shomo and Jole communities have become regular occurrences every year adding that patrol teams will be manning the area to ensure the safety of lives and properties.
“The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ahmed Azare, has stationed patrol teams on ground already and the situation has been brought under control,” he said. NAN reported that conflicts between Shomo and Jole had been lingering for decades over claims and counter-claims of ownership of the disputed fish ponds.
At a point, the government had to ban fishing activities in the disputed ponds for a period of 10 years, but the communities resumed conflicts as soon as the ban was lifted at the return of democracy.
There are reports 25 people lost their lives with many others severely injured in the clash. Over 100 houses have been set on fire in the communities.
Chukwugozie Okeke reporting, Obinwannem News