The Police Command in Akwa Ibom has urged the youth and Hausa community residing in Etoi community in Uyo to give peace a chance.
The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, for the command in the state, ASP. Cordelia Nwawe, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN,in Uyo on Thursday.
She also advised communities to learn how to live peacefully.
Ms. Nwawe, who confirmed that skirmish broke out between the indigenes and the Hausa community in Etoi, said that peace had been restored to the community.
The police image maker added that some victims of the fight had been treated and discharged from the hospital.
She disclosed that there were casualties on both sides but that the police did not know the exact figures of the casualties.
“We are not the ones to confirm the dead except the state government or qualified medical professionals,” Ms. Nwawe said.
The spokesperson said the police was collaborating with the state government to ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the incident and forestall reoccurrence.
NAN learnt that trouble started on Tuesday night, when a scrap dealer ferrying a generator on wheel barrow, was accosted around the Udo Udoma area of Itiam Etoi by some residents.
A witness, Okon Effiong, said that youth in the area demanded the scrap dealer boy to settle them before they could set him free.
“They asked him for settlement or matching ground, and when he refused to pay, youths resorted to confronting him.
“The minor misunderstanding resulted in brawl and forced a reprisal attack from the Hausa\Fulani settlers in the area,” Mr. Effiong said.
He said that the skirmish occurred at about 10 00 p.m., when many residents must have had gone to bed.
Reacting to the incident, the Head of the Hausa Community in Akwa Ibom, Hassan Sadauki, also appealed to the people to allow peace to reign.
Mr. Sadauki said that the incident was fallout of minor misunderstanding between his people and some ‘area boys’.
“The incident started from just a minor misunderstanding involving my people and the area boys around the Udo Udoma area of Uyo.
“The area boys were asking for matching ground from one of us who was carrying a generator scrap he bought from the people in the area and there was a disagreement,” he said.
Also, the Akwa Ibom Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Ndueso Ekwere, in a statement, urged the parties involved to eschew violence.
He warned those fomenting trouble against taking laws into own hands, saying that the police had begun investigation into the matter.