BY OUR REPORTER –
It was a bleak Christmas for residents of Bwari, in Bwari area council of FCT, Abuja, as no fewer than 10 people were feared dead during a clash between two rival cult groups.
It was gathered that the crisis which had been on for about a week, yesterday snowballed into an ethnic crisis between the people of Gbagyi and Hausa extractions when a young man of Gbagyi extraction was gunned down on Christmas Eve by members of a rival cult group.
Apart from those who lost their lives in the reprisal that broke out at about 9:00 am Monday, several other people were reportedly injured by cutlass wielding irate youths and some older men who turned the crisis into an ethnic issue.
They were later rushed to Bwari General Hospital where they were receiving treatment as at the time of filing this report.
According to an eyewitness account, the popular Bwari market, a mosque near the market, houses and a popular modern plaza beside a new generation bank, opposite the headquarters of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) were also torched, during the fracas; leading to loss of properties worth millions of Naira.
It was gathered that but for prompt intervention of policemen and soldiers that were promptly deplored to the area, the crisis could have further degenerated.
It was further gathered that people of Gbagyi extraction had been bottling up anger since Hawal Musa Ijakoru succeeded his father, the late Musa Ijakoru, as Sarki Bwari, some three months ago.
The Gbagyi, it was gathered flawed at a situation where two kings would reign in their community since they already have Ibrahim Yero, who enjoy their support, as Etsu Bwari.
It will be recalled that the Gbagyi had been calling for the sack of the Sarki Bwari even during the reign of the deceased monarch so that the community would have only a ruler.
Sarki Bwari, it was gathered enjoyed the support of members of Hausa community in the area who allegedly gave him support.
As at the time of filing this report last night, there was still heavy presence of security operatives along SCC Road, T-Junction, Market Road and some strategic locations in the area.
The crisis also made life difficult for commuters as commercial activities diverted their vehicles from the area, even as many of the residents stayed indoors.
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