Maiyaki Baba, Commissioner of Police, Nasarawa State.

Cecilia Onah, Lafia

Three residents of Alingani community in Lafia East Development Area of Nasarawa State, have died following a disagreement that ensued between two rival groups on the ownership of a fish pond in the area.

As a result of the clash which began on Tuesday, ten other persons sustained various degrees of injuries and are presently undergoing treatment in undisclosed health centres in Lafia, the state capital.

The clash was between the two rival groups loyal to the electoral ward head appointed for Alingani, by the overseer of the Development Area, Barr. Mohammed Haruna and another one appointed by the Oron Akye, Alhaji Abdullahi Ugah.

A source who pleaded for anonymity said the government appointed ward head, Dalhatu Mohammed Omiya, officially wrote to the overseer, intimating him about the impending crisis on the fish pond but the matter was not attended to, which led to the clash.

“The ward head also reported the matter to the DPO and the Nigerian Air Force 22 Quick Response Wing, stationed in Assakio, the headquarters of the development area, they responded swiftly by moving to the fish pond and warned the trouble makers to leave, which they did”

“But immediately after the military and police left, they went back to the pond and fished in a particular portion reserved in the custody of the ward head, Omiya, so when the report got to the authority of the development area, they were summoned for a peace meeting, but they refused to attend”

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“On Tuesday, the ward head, Omiya, sent some persons loyal to him to go on fishing at the pond, then suddenly the rival group came and attacked them. Unfortunately, two persons died in the bloody clash. Today morning, another person died as a result of the injury he sustained in the attack” the source said.

The Overseer of Lafia East Development Area, Barr. Mohammed Haruna, confirmed the crisis to our correspondent in Lafia, and assured that security operatives had been deployed to the area to restore normalcy.

He, however, declined comment on the actual number of persons who lost their lives during the crisis.

On his part, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Ramhan Nansel, said the crisis was mainly a leadership tussle, assuring that the command will ensure that lives and property in the area were protected.

“The two rival ward heads were invited for a meeting with the Commissioner of Police and we are still investigating the matter,” he added.