Tony Osauzo, Benin
A violent clash between members of an age-group and a vigilance group, has left in its trail, gun injuries, destruction of properties and razing of a building and four vehicles in Fugar, headquarters of Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State.
Trouble reportedly started on Saturday following the death of the ‘father’ of the age-group who was scheduled to be buried.
It was learnt that by tradition, when the ‘father’ of an age-group dies, the group is required to perform certain rites and give the children of the deceased some items, including a goat.
An eyewitness told our correspondent that in the instant case, the age-group allegedly went off mark and started killing every goat in sight and forcefully seizing people’s property, including giant cooking pots.
Peeved by the action of the age-group, the Fugar vigilance members was said to have intervened and stopped them, but this did not go down well with the age-group members who demanded that all items taken from them by the vigilance group must be returned before the burial of their ‘father’.
Consequently, the age-group in a procession, started moving towards the Vigilante office in Fugar and in the process, the only vigilance group member who was around, reportedly shot a member of the age-group who also happens to be a member of Vikings Cult in the leg.
The shooting was said to have angered members of the Vikings Cult group who mobilised and started unleashing violence and in the process, burnt the house of the vigilance member shot their colleagues and four vehicles, two of which were said to belong to the vigilance group.
It was learnt that the effort of the Local Government Chairman, Mr. John Akhigbe, who facilitated the deployment of soldiers from Agenebode, brought the situation under control, as policemen earlier drafted from Auchi could not manage the situation.
Meanwhile, the injured member of the age-group is said to be responding well to treatment in hospital.
As at press time, the police could not be reached for confirmation of the story.