20 Feared Killed in Edo Communal Clash

Nov 18, 2004 05:15 PM EST

Twenty People were feared killed in a communal clash between Iyuku and Imeke communities in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State.

Already several corpses recovered in the crisis that occurred during the last Id-el-Fitri celebration have been deposited at the specialist hospital, while mobile policemen have been deployed in the area to maintain law and order.

Speaking separately on the incident, the Chief Whip of Edo state House of Assembly, Mr. Shaibu Imodagbe and the Chairman of Etsako West Local Government Council, Mallam Gani Audu called for a panel of enquiry to examine the issues involved and find a lasting solution to the communal crisis.

While the Whip described the clash as pitiable, he called for more and permanent mobile policemen drafted in the area. He explained that several corpses had been recovered in the troubled area, commending the state Commissioner of Police for his quick response to control the situation.

"The killings will be more if we do not find a solution to it. We want permanent policemen to be kept in that area to scare away these people unleashing mayhem on our people. The Commissioner of Police has tried but more needs to be done to quell the crisis before it gets out of hand", he stated.

On his part, chairman of the Local Government Area, Mallam Gani Audu called on the people of Iyuku to embrace peace and dialogue instead of resorting to violence.

He described the incident as pathetic and worrisome, adding that both human and material resources that could have been harnessed to develop the community where natives have now become refugees in their own land are being wasted.

He said "I am appealing that we stop these killings, use the judiciary to resolve any differences instead of taking laws into our hands. I advise our people to return home and start their normal life. We have put adequate security in place to secure lives and property. And government will not hesitate to deal with anybody or group involved in this crisis no matter how highly placed the person is in the society."

Vanguard (Lagos)