By Emeka Mamah
ENUGU — There was tension in Enugu, yesterday, following the killing of two persons during a bloody clash between some Igbo and Fulani at Gariki Market, Enugu.
Those killed were identified as one Ali, a Fulani man and Ifeanyi Ifeacho, an Igbo man.
Vanguard sources said the incident happened on Wednesday evening.
An eye witness told Vanguard that trouble started in the market when Ali came from New Artisan market with a cow to slaughter in Gariki abattoir, where Ifeanyi worked as an attendant, following the closure of New Artisan market by the Enugu State government earlier this week.
According to an eye-witness, when Ali finished slaughtering his cow, he gave Ifeanyi N400 instead of the N500 fee for slaughtering the cow in the abattoir.
Ifeanyi was said to have asked Ali to give him the remaining N100 but the Fulani man remained adamant, insisting that he would not pay any other money.
The misunderstanding degenerated to a fight between the two during which Ali pulled out a dagger and stabbed Ifeanyi severally on the stomach. Ifeanyi slumped and died on the spot.
Ali was said to have attempted to escape but some traders grabbed and lynched him .
The angry Igbo traders later mobilized and burnt down the mosque inside Gariki Market.
Meanwhile, normalcy has returned, following the deployment of anti-riot policemen to the market and environs even as the Enugu State police Spokesman, Superintendent Ebere Amaraizu, confirmed the story.
Amaraizu said the command had already deployed anti-riot policemen to Gariki market to stop the situation from escalating.
His words: “Two persons were confirmed dead yesterday in the course of a clash between an easterner and a northerner over an alleged misunderstanding that arose between them at Gariki Awkunanaw market.”
At press time, peace talk was ongoing between the Igbo and Hausa-Fulani traders in the market.
Contacted, the out-going Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Joe Nworgu, said he did not have details of the incident and cannot comment on it.
Also the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Uwakwe Abugu, did not pick his calls and failed to reply to a text message sent to him over the matter.