Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Following the communal clashes between Ikpakpala, Onukpo and Etutekpe communities in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi state over ancestral land, the paramount traditional ruler of Ikpakpala village, Chief Ismaila Omata has called for the urgent intervention of Governor Idris Wada to save lives and property in his domain.
The Onu Ikpakpala, Chief Ismaila Omata made the call yesterday after inspecting residential buildings, business premises and other property worth millions of Naira allegedly destroyed by the youths of the warring communities. Omata said the communal attack which lasted between 11:45 Sunday night and 4am Monday displaced many members of Ikpakpala and Onukpo communities leaving about three of them, Tijani Meliga, Siaka Akpa and Unugwa Salifu in critical condition with matched cuts.
He said that some members of the two communities had fled their ancestral homes to seek refuge in neighbouring villages describing the destruction as wanton and unwarranted. The traditional ruler held that their assailants could still attack under the cover of night, saying: “As we are now, it is just in the daytime that you see that things are calm, you can never predict what they will be up to in the night.
“Government should come to our aid by deploying the police here to maintain peace so that our displaced persons can come back home. We are not as powerful as they”, Omata appealed. On the cause of the attack which according to the royal father, is often, linked with the Community Leader of Ikpakpala, Elder Emmanuel Ademu who claim that Etutekpe people were trying to forcefully evict the two communities. “The crux of the matter is that Etutekpe people are claiming ownership of these two autonomous villages with different Madakis and Gagos.
These are separate communities. “In 1998, Etutekpe people started laying claim on these two communities. They claimed that their fore-fathers owned the land from Onukpo to Ikpakpala through Manejo”, he said. Ademu said as a result of repeated onslaught on the two communities, Dekina Local Government and the Ejeh of Dekina, Alhaji Usman Obaje in January this year intervened and properly delineated the areas to avoid conflicts. The Etutekpe people, not satisfied with the intervention of the Ejeh and the council, appealed to Attah Igala, Michael Ameh-Oboni II and it was resolved on Thursday that the status-quo be maintained.