Linus Oota, Lafia
Thousands of men, women and children have reportedly deserted their homes in Assakio, a community in Lafia local government area of Nasarawa state for fear of being attacked.
Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the skirmish between the two tribes started when the Eggon youths went to Assakio in their large numbers on motorcycles to reclaim and clear up settlement destroyed during the 2012 and 2014 communal clashes that led to the loss of several lives and properties worth millions.
This development, our correspondent gathered, led to the mass exodus of people from Assakio community area of Lafia East development area of the state.
All the motorcycles seized by the Alago youths have been handed over to the police at “C” Division.
It was also learnt that Eggon youth went to Assakio based on a letter issued to them on February 21 by the National Human Right Commission which, according to them, they are served every quarter; that all the Eggon that lived in Assakio before the 2012 and 2014 clashes should go back.
Reacting on the incident in a telephone interview with our correspondent, the Eggon youths president, Mr. Daniel Anyuabuga, said that there was no crisis between the Eggon youths and Alago youths, adding that the youths only went to Assakio to clear up their settlement where they had been staying before 2012 and 2014 crisis ravaged the area.
He denied that there was no any exchange of gun fire between the tribes in the area, insisting that those youths went there with their cutlasses and hoes to clear the settlement, and not with guns as was alleged by some opponents of Eggon people in the state.
He added that the written document that supposedly gave the youths permission to go to Assakio was copied to the Commissioner of police, the Emir of Lafia, the State Government and the paramount ruler in the area.
According to him, scores of motorcycles belonging to their youths were seized by the Alago, but later handed to the Interim Management Committee chairman of Lafia east Development area of the state.
“The Eggon youths only went to Assakio to clear off their settlement and not to lunch any attack on Assakio community. They were attacked by Alago youths when they were about to clear off their second settlement,”Daniel said.
“Nobody has the right to stop them not to stay in Assakio, the law is clear that if you stay in a particular place for more than 10 years, you are automatically an indigene of the place,” he stated.
Also reacting on the incident in a telephone interview, the Alago youth president, Barrister Iliya Ashoapa, said the recent clashes between Alago youth and Eggon youth was a carry over from the 2012 and 2014 crisis, adding that nobody has the right to prevent the Eggon from staying in Assakio.
While accusing some elders of the Eggon people of instigating youths to terrorize the Assakio community, he appealed to the entire Eggon people to come together and settle their differences.
“We had the information that there are quite a number of Eggon elders that are using these youths to terrorize people in the state,” he said.
Confirming the incident to our correspondent, Police Public Relation Officer, Idirisu Kennedy, said the Command was aware of the development and that security has been beefed-up in the area.
According to him, the seized motorcycles are in the custody of the police, adding that there were no arrests made to that effect.