Pandemonium struck in the Idare district, in Okene Local Government Area of Kogi State when unidentified assailants attacked and killed a masquerade and three of his followers.
The assailants according to an eyewitness who were on a motorcycle shot and killed the masquerade and his other followers while they were moving about in the area entertaining onlookers during the annually celebrated Eche-Anee festival.
Reports say moments after the masquerade and his followers were gunned down; onlookers fled the scene for safety even as the state government has banned the festival following the incident.
The state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, in a statement warned that any masquerader, caught on the streets would be arrested, along with its followers and those managing the masquerader.
As at the time of filling in this report, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Wilson Inalegwu hadn’t made any comments over the incident but sources close to the Kogi State Police Command said the CP is on top of the matter.
In another development, two siblings and a police inspector were hacked to death when a clash broke out between the two communities during a masquerade festival at Ilagbo community, in the Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos State.
Reports say youths of Oriyanrin, a neighbouring community, had attended the masquerade event tagged, Kilajolu festival, at Ilagbo on Saturday when a clash broke out between the two communities.
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The clash between the youths of both communities was initially quelled by some elders in the community who ordered them away, but youths of Oriyanrin reportedly regrouped and laid ambush for some Ilagbo youths who were returning from the festival, hacking one of them identified as Ismaila to death.
The youths of Orinyanrin also hacked the brother of the deceased identified simply as Matanle, who had gone to recover the corpse of his sibling, leading to reprisal attacks by angered youths of Ilagbo youths who descended on Oriyanrin, burning down houses, vehicles, among other valuables.
Calm was however, later restored in the community when a team of policemen were deployed in the communities to restore normalcy, during which an inspector, whose identity had yet to be disclosed, was killed by the rampaging youths.
A resident of the community, Moriu Made who escaped death by a whisker said his house was razed and his family has been displaced.
“I was ill and because of that, I could not run when the youths from Ilagbo invaded our community.
“They burnt my house and my younger brother’s house. Some other residents’ houses were also burnt. I don’t know where to start from.
“My family members have run away; only a few persons are left in the community and I have not eaten for three days. Government should please provide adequate security for us.”
In his address to traditional rulers and elders in the affected areas, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, who visited the warring communities, said the command would be forced to take stiff actions if they failed to embrace peace.
“We will make sure there is no reprisal in the community, but the traditional heads need to do something except if you are not capable,” he said.
Continuing, he added that; “The elders in this community should be ashamed of themselves. The police helped you to settle clashes, but you went ahead to kill an inspector.
“Nothing stops you from organising a vigilance group with the police. Instead, your children go behind to kill policemen.
Policemen also have families. You know the solution, but if you don’t want peace to reign, we will handle it with force.”