A communal clash between youths in 200 Housing Unit and Gadumo community, both in Ajaokuta local government area of Kogi state, has claimed the life of a fresh graduate, Ishaq Mohammed.
It was learnt that the recent attack between both communities saw three persons sustaining various degrees of injuries.
Late Mohammed, a fresh graduate from Kogi State Polytechnic, according to family source was awaiting his compulsory National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) before he met his untimely death.
The deceased who is in his early 20’s was the younger brother of the Madaki of 200 Housing Unit, Alhaji Abdulsalam Muhammed who had filed series of petitions stopping Gadumo community from encroaching into their land.
It was gathered that the crisis between the warring communities dates back to 2013 when one of them insist that their land has been encroached by the other party.
Confirming the incident, the chairman of 200 housing unit Lokoja, Alhaji Zakari Alhassan told our correspondent that the death of Mohammed has brought sadness to the entire community. He insisted that justice must take its course.
Alhaji Alhassan accused the Prince of Gadumo community, Suru Adama Dauda and his father, the Etsu Ankuri of Gadumo, Chief Adama Dauda of masterminding the attack.
“Our boys were working in our community site when some boys, fully armed with guns, cutlasses under the instruction of Prince Suru and his father attacked our people.
“This is not the first time they have been trespassing on our land. They have their own boundary, but they insist they must take our own land for their own selfish interest.
“They destroyed so many things. They shot at Mohammed at the back, and we also saw that three others were down with serious injuries. One of our boys immediately alerted the Police to come to our rescue.
“We rushed Mohammed to the Kogi State Specialist Hospital immediately, but he eventually gave up the ghost. The three others who sustained injuries are currently admitted in an undisclosed hospital.
“We reported the case to the C Division Nigeria Police Force Lokoja, and investigations are ongoing currently to bring the perpetrators to book. All we need is that justice must prevail. Whoever that is behind this heinous act must face the full wrath of the law no matter how influential that person may be in the state,” he said.
The community leader told our correspondent that the monarch of his community (the deceased brother) through his counsel on 17th July 2018 had petitioned various security agencies over the accused illegal dealings in land related matter despite earlier receiving a court judgment dated April 11th 2018 which according to him went in their favor.
The bereaved leader called on the state government to intervene, stressing that the communal clash between both communities has been raging for over six years.
In his reaction, the Etsu Ankuri of Gadumo, Chief Adama Dauda who spoke through one of his subject, Abubakar Isah, denied the attack.
The monarch, while dismissing the speculation that one of the accused Prince Suru Adama Dauda is on the run, also spoke on the court judgment earlier raised by the 200 housing unit community leader on who should be in control of the area.
According to him, “We didn’t not send any body to attack 200 housing community people. May be it was a mix up somewhere. On the court case I heard they spoke about, it not about who is in control of the land but is about title.
“200 housing unit is just an estate created by former governor of Kogi State, late Prince Abubakar Audu and not a community. That area belong to us. They have been destroying properties and land we allocated for people who intend to put structure. We are the owner of that land and they are just tenants. Go and check the history, and you will see that for your self”.
Late Ishaq Mohammed’s dream, according to the deceased family, has been cut shot as he will not be joining his colleagues to serve his nation for the compulsory National Youth Service Corp (NYSC).
Although the deceased had since been buried according to Islamic rite, fear of reprisal attack still worries residents of the affected community.
However, when our correspondent visited the Nigeria Police Force C Division Lokoja, it was gathered that the case has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, but the whereabouts of one of the accused is still unknown.
The role of the divisional police officer in charge of the division was however commended, as he continued to sue for peace despite the tensed situation between both communities.
Efforts to speak with the Police Public Relations Officer, William Aya to confirm the incident hit brick walls as all his lines were switched off but a senior Police officer who do not want his name to be mentioned said he traveled out on official assignment.