We lost millions to Bwari violence, market fire – Residents

The Bwari market on fire

Residents of Bwari, the capital of Bwari Area Council in Abuja, have continued to count their losses following the violence that engulfed the area on Christmas Day.
The Bwari market was burnt down as a result of the clash between Gbagi and Hausa youth which left at least three people dead, according to officials.
Some residents and traders who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES said they lost all their property.
Blessing Ezeh, a fashion designer in her late 30s, said she lost all her savings to the violence including all her customers’ clothes.
With tears in her eyes, Ms. Ezeh said, “All my life was in that shop. My money, my machines, my customers clothes, everything got burnt.
“The big laces my customers are supposed to collect before the New Year, children clothes, children school uniforms for next term are all gone. My life is empty right now”, she said 
Sunny, a sales boy, said he still thanks God for His mercy on his employer.
He said, “My oga (boss) has two shops, one big one and the other one is small but the fire only destroyed the small one completely. It did not affect the big one at all. Though we lost ‘plenty things’ in the small shop. We just finished stocking the big shop on 23rd, so we thank God,” he said 
Another trader who identified himself as Danny lamented in pidgin: “This Hausa people don destroy my life finish. Dem don kill me”.
Explaining his plight to our reporter, Danny said, “I lost over ’15 million’ to the fire disaster. I don’t know anything about the fight between the Hausa and Gbagi but I have to pay the price. What will I do now? I have a wife, children, parents and siblings, all depending on me. Now I have to start all over again. Madam journalist, please help me beg the government to help me before I die, please my daughter”, he said.
According to a resident of the area, the violence started on Christmas Eve after a Hausa man reportedly killed a Gbagi man. In a bid for revenge, the Gbagis residing in the area burnt down the Bwari market on Monday, the resident said, seeking anonymity for fear of reprisal.
Another witness, who identified herself as Bimbo, said there has been tension between Hausas and Gbagis in the area for a while.
“But the cause of this fight is because a Gbagi man was killed last night. Right now, all the Hausas in this area are running towards Kaduna area because of the fear of getting killed,” she said.
On Tuesday, a day after the Christmas Day violence, soldiers, policemen and even naval officers were seen patrolling the community.
Members of the community were also reluctant to go out of their houses, some because of the fear of another attack while others said there were no vehicles to convene them.
It is not certain if any arrest has been made as the FCT command police spokesperson, Anjuguri Mamzah, did not pick his call as at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, following the clash, the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Minister, Musa Bello, imposed a dusk to dawn curfew on the troubled community.


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  • forestgee

    Praise singers have blocked PMB ears and sound of violence cannot be heard.

    • Ola

      Do we expect the President (no matter who) to have to respond to every clash between neighbors turned violent because people just can’t seem to find a way resolve disputes without killing each other or burning properties.

      Don’t forget almost all these communities have Community heads, Village heads, Market Association Excos, Councillors and Local Government Chairman and Excos (There is always a Supervisory Councillor in charge of Markets) .

      Like with every communal clash, we tend to pass all these people who by the way collect stipends from government but never live up to their responsibilities. They all seat and until the situation gets out of hand , then start calling on the President to come and solve the problem they created in the first place.

      We must all learn to take our responsibilities serious and not have to wait for another person to shoulder ours plus his own.My take.

      • forestgee

        We measure him exactly the same way he measured his predecessor.

  • Ola

    Like with every communal clash turned violent, there had been an issue between the Hausa’s and Gbagi’s in Bwari.

    In this same Bwari, we have Communal Leaders, Village Heads, I believe there is a Traditional Ruler in Bwari, Councillors, Market Association Union and Local Government Chairman and Supervisory Councillors.

    With all these level of intervention being properly harnessed and people being responsible to their wards, these clashes may have been avoided.

    But I won’t be surprised that the Village head may be the one spear heading the whole conflict for some personal gains.

  • blueeyedkitten

    the hausas would always be blamed for any crisis by this bunch of biased media houses we’ve in this country.
    in a case of two fighting, this irresponsible media houses are already pointing accusing fingers to one of the party. is this how to mediate or report on an issue capable of flaring nerves? couldnt you apply simple emotional intelligence in this report?
    shame on you premium times.