The Kogi State Police Command reported that six people were killed when gunmen opened fire on residents of Bagana in the state’s Omala Local Government Area.
The Commissioner of Police in Kogi State, Idrisu Dabban, who was in Omala for assessment, said the attack appeared to be a reprisal for the attack in August that claimed 10 lives.
He said, “We are here to appeal to the people that violence never solves any problem; they should embrace dialogue in sorting out differences.”
It was, however, gathered that the attackers went to the palace of the newly classified third class chief, Salifu Anyebe, set it ablaze, and shot three persons to death, including one Madam Achebe Alih, popularly known as ‘Mama Teacher.’
Sources said the villagers ran into the bushes for safety during the early morning raid.
It was gathered that the attackers, who were linked to a clan opposed to Anyebe’s ascendancy, had planned to attack him during the proposed celebration of the title.
Our correspondent was told that the chief got wind of the attack, forcing the abrupt suspension of the ceremony.
Our correspondent gathered that immediately after the attackers left, some militias from nearby communities went on a violence spree, razing down houses belonging to the suspected clans.
It was said that the reprisal led to the burning down of the palace of the Oga Onu Ife, a paramount ruler and the District Head of Bagana, Chief Alih Haruna, while some houses belonged to notable inhabitants were also torched.
According to the locals, a house belonging to the councilor representing the district, Alidu Idakwo, and those of other tribes were not spared.
A local lamented the nonchalant attitude of the government which had allegedly refused to take decisive action against the perpetrators.
He said since 2013 when the crisis erupted as herder-farmer clashes, “it has snowballed into ethnic and clannish cleansing; about 300 persons have lost their lives.
The Special Adviser on Security to the Omala LGA, Steve Shaibu, confirmed the death of six persons, adding that one person was injured.
However, the leader of Indigenous People of Bagana, Alhaji Umar Bagana, lamented the recurring orgy of killings and destruction, calling for its end.