An age-long land dispute that has degenerated to an annual communal clash in Gombe State, left one person dead and several house burnt between Monday and Tuesday, witnesses said.
The fight over a piece of farmland occurred on Monday and Tuesday between the people of Kufai in Billiri local government and those in Kulishi in Shongom local government areas of Gombe state.
The two communities have been in court over the ownership of the disputed land.
But every year, during the rainy season, parties in dispute would engage in bloody fight over the land.
Last year two pastors were killed while farming on the disputed land.
Sources familiar with the dispute said residents of the two local governments, who speak the same language (Tangale), have been in dispute over the land since 1990.
But neither their language nor proximity could assuage their anger over the right of ownership of the land.
Gombe State Commissioner of Police, Austin Iwar, told journalists that a powerful investigation team had been set up by the command to investigate the cause of the clash. He said anyone found to be at fault would be charged to court.
The police commissioner appealed to both communities to live in peace with one another in order sustain harmony in the area.
Authorities said the attacks left one security man at the ECWA Missionary settlement in Kofa’i dead, and 16 houses, one car and motor cycle destroyed.
The chairman of Billiri Local Government, Faruk Dankuka, had confirmed to a visiting team of government officials that the clash which occurred on Monday and Tuesday, led to the blockade of the road leading to Adamawa and to the state capital Gombe.
Some members of the disputing communities are suggesting that the government should take over the land in contention, while others want the perpetrators of the killings and destructions to be punished, so that it would serve as deterrent for the future.
One of the members of the community, Simon Istafanus Abdullahi, who spoke in Hausa, pleaded with the government to come to their aid by bringing the ugly trend of over two decades, to an end.
The District Head of Shongom, Buba Alfayo, had also pleaded with the people to desist from acts that would lead to loss of lives and property.
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