1 killed, 70 houses set ablaze in Kogi communal clash

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja

One person was killed and over 70 houses set ablaze in a communal clash between Oturpo-Ojile and Ochi-Ibadan, two communities in Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State.

Trouble was said to have started when some villagers from Ochi-Ibadan allegedly accosted and killed a man who was returning from Lagos to his country home (Oturpo-Ojile) in an unexplainable circumstance.

Aggrieved by the murder of their kinsman, some youths from Oturpo-Ojile in a reprisal attack, armed themselves, went straight to Ochi-Ibadan and allegedly burnt down over 70 houses.

Hon. Akus Lawal (APC-Ankpa I) representing the state constituency reported the ugly incident on the floor of Kogi State House of Assembly on Thursday, saying that it happened on January 14.

He said “The communal clash between two communities is very worrisome and should not repeat itself again.”

Lawal corroborated the information that the killing of the returning Oturpo-Ojile man by Ochi-Ibadan men triggered the violence leading to burning down of over 70 houses and countless property.

The Legislator commended the Nigeria Police, Kogi State command, for their timely intervention that checked escalation of the violence and on-the-spot assessment of the damage.

“We must commend the Commissioner of Police who went to this community for an on the spot assessment and the Kogi State Government under Alhaji Yahaya Bello for the quick response.

“We are praying that such communal clash will not happen in our land again”, he said.

Lawal however, appealed to the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to immediately provide relief materials for the victims of the communal clash who are now homeless.