At least eight people were killed after a communal clash late Monday evening between Waja and Lunguda in Nyuwar, Jessu and Yolde communities of Balanga Local Government Area of Gombe State.
An eyewitness, Kabiru Abubakar Sulaiman, told Daily Trust that the violence erupted late Monday evening between youth hunters of Lunguda and Waja ethnic groups in the three towns, located along the Gombe-Yola federal highway.
According to him, the clash occurred following a misunderstanding among the youths after they met during hunting expedition at the outskirt of their respective villages.
“The clash, which hitherto started among the hunters escalated to the villages of Nyuwar, Jessu and Yolde both of Balanga LGA. In the process, houses were raised down to ashes, businesses premises affected and at least eight were killed,” he said.
Sulaiman added that hundreds of people rendered homeless by the “unfortunate incident” are now taking refuge in neighbouring villages.
Meanwhile, the state government has imposed a 24-hour curfew on Nyuwar, Jessu and Yolde communities of Balanga LGA with immediate effect.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi, who made the announcement, said the decision followed the violence that erupted in the communities which claimed lives and destroyed properties.
He said the curfew became necessary to douse the tension and restore peace and order in the affected areas.
Prof. Njodi added that security personnel had been deployed to restore normalcy in the area, adding that the curfew will remain until further notice.
The state Commissioner of Police, Babatunde Ishola Babaita, confirmed the incident. He said an investigation is still ongoing to unravel the situation and bring the perpetrators to book.
As of the time of filing this report, Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya was at the scenes of the incident to assess the situation.