At least seven people were killed on Sunday when two factions of vigilante groups clashed in Adamawa State, residents have told PREMIUM TIMES.
The fighting occurred during coronation of two officials of amalgamated union of Nigerian hunters in Gombi.
“There was fierce gun battles between the two rival groups during which lives were lost,” a resident of the area, Musa Buba, said.
”Seven local hunters were feared killed and about 19 others were rushed to the Specialist hospital in Jimeta.”
When contacted the state chairman of the hunters association, Muhammad Tola, stated that ”some boys (hunters) loyal to the other faction struck while the occasion was progressing and just started firing shots.
”Though I cannot give the exact casualty figure for now, I can confirm to you that over three members were killed and at least 20 others were rushed to hospitals here in the state capital.”
Mr. Tola said his intervention prevented the violence from escalating.
“I asked my members not to retaliate,” he said.
In a reaction, the leader of the rival group who has the title of Sarkin Bakan Gombi, Muhammad Yaki, denied that his group initiated the attack.
”In fact, they followed through my house shouting all sorts of slogans, they even opened fire on us.
“I lost my members, about seven were affected,” he told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview.
When contacted, the police spokesperson, Othman Abubakar, said the police were already investigating the incident.
“I was told that only one person was killed and investigation is still on course,” he said.
Armed vigilante groups have become more involved in providing security in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states as they assist security officials in the battle against Boko Haram insurgents.