Lokoja—No fewer than 44 persons were killed, while 26 others sustained injuries in herders/ farmers clashes as well as communal crises in three local government areas of Kogi State.
Also, properties valued at N541,372,580 were lost to the crises that took place in the local government areas— Omala, Bassa and Dekina.
Chairman of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Civil Disturbances in Communities in the three local government areas, Justice Josiah Mejabi, made the disclosure in Lokoja, Kogi State capital, while presenting the report of the commission to Governor Yahaya Bello.
According to him, 115 persons were identified to have been responsible for the mayhem that lasted between February and April.
He said the commission, during its visits to the communities and public hearings, discovered that the crises in Ogane-Nigwu, Iyade, Ojuwo Ajimadi, Agbenema-Ife and Agabifor in Dekina and Omala Local Government areas, were between herdsmen and farmers.
He added that the attacks in Orokwo and Orokwo Buse villages in Bassa Local Government Area were between the Igala and Bassa-Kwomu tribes.
The commission advised the state government to provide palliatives to victims of the crises and direct them to maintain the status quo, pending decision on the report.
Gov Bello reacts
Receiving the report, Governor Bello promised to ensure security of lives and properties of residents of the state, saying his administration will not play politics with the lives.
On perpetrators of the crises, Bello said: “We will hunt you down, we will come after you, you may be able to run, but you cannot hide. We will smoke you out.
We won’t play politics with the lives of the people.”
Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Commander Jerry Omodara (retd), called for the establishment of a Naval outpost in Nkende, lamenting that despite the setting up of the commission, Bassa Local Government Area continued to witness violence, while the other two local government areas were peaceful.
He called for the prosecution of those arrested in connection with the 2016 crisis, adding that there was the need for an urgent meeting between Kogi and Nasarawa states to proffer solutions.