Palpable tension has enveloped Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital, and environs, following a clash between Eggon youths suspected to be Ombatse militia and Alago youths in Obi local government area of the state.
Odobu, a village few kilometers to Obi town, mainly inhabited by the Alago tribe, has been razed down while the inhabitants have all fled to unknown destination.
Although the immediate cause of the crisis is yet to be ascertained, community sources claimed the clash started as a result of resistance by the Eggon youth to the arrest of their colleagues by security operatives after a tipoff by Alago youths who suspected the movement of the Eggons from Lafia east to Obi town about 40 kilometers away.
Witnesses say despite effort to check the crisis by the police, the youths had a field day as they spent almost three hours burning houses and properties.
One of the victims, who asked not to be named for security reasons, told PREMIUM TIMES he escaped death by the whiskers.
“I managed to escape narrowly,” he said. “As I am speaking to you Odobu community has been completely destroyed and as at the time I was scampering to safety, the angry looking youths were heading towards Obi main town having razed down Odobu.”.
When contacted, the state Police Commissioner, Umar Shehu, confirmed the incident saying he had deployed his men to the area to halt the violenc.
He however declined to provide casualty figures saying “for now I cannot confirm any casualty figure until my men return”.
A PREMIUM TIMES reporter, who visited some nearby communities, said that there was palpable tension as some of the residents, mostly women and children were seen fleeing their homes in droves.
At the time of filling this report, the state’s deputy governor, Damishi Barau Luka, is presiding over a hurriedly convened security meeting in his office in Lafia.