Federal and Kogi State governments have been called upon to wade in into a lingering communal clashes among Ikpakpala, Onukpo and Etutekpe communities in Dekina Local Government over an ancestral land.
The Onu of Ikpakpala, Chief Ismaila Omata made the call on Tuesday after inspecting residential buildings, business premises and other property worth millions of naira that were destroyed on Sunday night by hoodlums suspected to be from Etutekpe community.
He explained that the Etutekpe youths invaded the community between 11:45pm on Sunday night and 4am on Monday, stressing that in the process many members of Ikpakpala and Onukpo communities were displaced while three of the community members, Tijani Meliga, Siaka Akpa and Unugwa Salifu were left with critical condition because of machete cuts.
He added that some members of the two communities had fled their homes to seek refuge in neighbouring villages, describing the destruction as wanton and unwarranted.
The traditional ruler said their assailants could still attack under the cover of night.
“As we are now, it is just in the daytime that you see that things are calm, you can never predict what they will be up to in the night.
“Government should come to our aid by deploying the police here to maintain peace, so that our displaced persons can come back home. We are not as powerful as they,” Omata said.
Shedding more light, the community leader of Ikpakpala, Elder Emmanuel Ademu said Etutekpe people were trying to forcefully evict the two communities.
“The crux of the matter is that Etutekpe people are claiming ownership of these two autonomous villages with different Madakis and Gagos. These are separate communities.
“In 1998, Etutekpe people started laying claim on these two communities. They claimed that their fore-fathers owned the land from Onukpo to Ikpakpala through Manejo,” he said.
Ademu said as a result of repeated onslaught on the two communities, Dekina Local Government and the Ejeh of Dekina, Alhaji Usman Obaje in January this year intervened and properly delineated the areas to avoid conflicts.
The Etutekpe people, not satisfied with the intervention of the Ejeh and the council, appealed to Attah Igala, Michael Ameh-Oboni II, and it was resolved on Thursday that the status-quo be maintained.
Meanwhile, a detachment of the Nigeria Police drafted from Dekina Divisional Police headquarters diffused what would have been a reprisal attack on the Etutekpe community on Monday afternoon have they made some arrest.
The Dekina Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Mr Emmanuel Bombom at a meeting with the community leaders in Onukpo sued for peace but declined to address journalists, as he said that he was not competent to speak on the matter.

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