Communal crisis: Scores injured, houses set ablaze in Kwara

Aliya Moses
4 Min Read

A bloody clash between the Yoruba and Batonu people at Chikanda in Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State has claimed the lives of scores of people, while several houses were also set ablaze at the weekend.

Reporters reliably gathered that the recent crisis was allegedly orchestrated by one Nafiu Amuda, of Yoruba extractions who circulated an offensive and provocative audio on social media, abusing the people of Baruten, their host community, and calling them animals and all sorts of names.

He was alleged to have escaped to Ibadan immediately after the audio started generating controversy, to avoid being lynched by aggrieved Baruten people.

A source, who craved anonymity in an interview with a Newsmen correspondent late Sunday, said the build-up to the clash started three days ago when some Yoruba people, arising from heated debate about the controversial audio, attacked Baruten people who were returning from their farms.

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He also claimed that it was the retaliatory attack by the Baruten people on Saturday morning that escalated to burning of houses, with no fewer than seven people severely injured.

Several houses were burnt,and more than seven people severely injured.

Meanwhile, the TIC Chairman of Baruten Local Government has mobilised the security to wade into the situation to ensure that calm and normalcy return to the the crisis area,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Civil Society Organisation, Barutem Patriotic Agenda, BPA, has appealed to Kwara State governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, to take swift and decisive action in restoring peace and harmony in Chikanda and its surrounding areas.

BPA, in a statement issued by its secretary, Aliyu Jibril Seko, also called on all relevant stakeholders, including security agencies, to join hands in resolving the crisis before it escalates beyond control.

Your Excellency, we trust in your leadership and commitment to the welfare of the people of Kwara State, Batombu inclusive. We believe that with your prompt intervention and the collective efforts of all stakeholders, the crisis in Chikanda can be resolved, and peace restored.

We, the Barutem Patriotic Agenda, BPA, seek the urgent attention of Kwara State governor, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, with great concern regarding the escalating ethnic tension in the Chikanda community of Baruten LGA in Kwara State.

”The situation has reached a critical point and demands immediate attention from the state government and all relevant stakeholders.

“The Barutem Patriotic Agenda firmly believes in the power of dialogue, understanding, and peaceful coexistence. We urge the state governor to employ all necessary means to fast-track dialogue between the conflicting parties and foster mutual respect and tolerance.”

The group noted that it was crucial to address the root causes of the crisis and work out amicable resolutions that would promote and encourage unity, harmony and peaceful co-existence among the residents.

“It is crucial to address the root causes of this tension and work out a tolerable resolution that will promote unity and harmony among all ethnic groups in Chikanda and other affected communities in Baruten LGA.

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“We kindly request the governor and other stakeholders to deploy adequate security personnel to the affected communities to ensure the safety of the residents and prevent further violence or destruction of properties,” the group stated.

It further urged the engagement of emirs, community leaders, religious leaders, and other relevant stakeholders to promote reconciliation and peaceful coexistence in the local government and the state in general.

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