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Thousands flee to Lafia over Nassarawa community clash

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Piqued by the unending crisis in Nasarawa State, the State Security Council (SSC) met at Government House Lafia, on Friday, to take “far-reaching decisions” that may bring an end to the crisis that has  be-devilled the state in the last 20 months.

This followed a dual attack that may have been launched by Ombatse, an Eggon militia group on the people of Gwandara extraction in Kwandere, Lafia Local Government Area (LGA) of the state on Thursday evening and Friday morning respectively.

The state Governor, Umaru Al-Makura is also from Kwandere even as this is the first time there has been any attack carried out on the people of the area since the crisis in state started in July, 2011.

Although Saturday Independent gathered that houses, vehicles and other valuables were burnt and destroyed in the process, thousands have fled the troubled spot.

Officials of the Nigerian Red Cross Society were seen conveying women and children to Lafia in its ambulance.

But, up to the time of compiling this report, the authorities concerned were yet to confirm or deny whether lives were lost even though Saturday

Independent gathered that at least two persons may have lost their lives during the crisis.

But the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ada Michael told Saturday Independent that his men are on top the situation as the police have been able to bring the situation under control.

Although, he explained that the wounded were taken to Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH), Lafia, he said figures of the dead were not readily available.

But Makura who has tried all other means of resolving the conflicts in the state peacefully has threatened to “fully implement” the White Paper on the crisis that took place in Assakio, Lafia East Development Development Area mid last year.

The governor who noted that the security challenges in Nasarawa has reached its peak said: “Today (at the SSC meeting) we will take the bull by the horn.

“Members of the SSC will proffer the fastest solution to that (security challenges) and today (Friday) there will be far-reaching decisions that will cover a lot of security problems that we are having.”

He added: “I want the implementation of the White Paper on the Assakio crisis in total; getting names of people who are linked with this circle of insurgency across the state” and also ensure that all that have been arrested with weapons that would give the state a clue as to those that are responsible are investigated.

While stressing that “we are going to fully implement the proscription of Ombatse”, he said government would invoke certain instruments that have not been implemented since the law banning all ethnic militia in the state, including Ombatse for it come into full effect.

He said the state government has for too long taken the security challenges lying low, vowing that it would “stamp out this menace once and for all” and that anyone found to be culpable would “have himself to blame.”

Source: Daily Independent

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