THE crisis between the Fulani and Gbagi (natives) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has taken a trans-border dimension, as the Commissioner of Police in Abuja, Aderenle Shinaba, gave an account of how security operatives averted a reprisal by mercenaries.
Shinaba disclosed Monday that Fulani mercenaries from Cameroun, Katsina, Edo and some northern states had been placed on alert to launch an attack on the nation’s capital.
A deadly clash between the Gbagi natives and the Fulani last week in Gwako village in the Gwagwalada Area Council of the FCT had left two persons dead, with over 20 critically injured and more than 1,500 natives displaced.
The development had on December 31, 2012 prompted an emergency meeting of all stakeholders including representatives of the Gbagi and Fulani ethnic groups.
The meeting, which was at the instance of the FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, took place at the secretariat of the Gwagwalada Area Council, Gwagwalada Town.
At the forum, the minister had announced the setting up of a 15-member reconciliation and fact-finding committee headed by the FCT Police Commissioner, Mr. Aderenle Shinaba.
Briefing reporters during the submission of the committee’s report on the Gbagi/Fulani fracas in Abuja yesterday, the FCT Police Commissioner disclosed that about 25 suspects had so far been arrested in connection with the incident.
Shinaba said that he had received a series of calls from mercenaries from neighbouring Cameroun, Katsina and Edo who had mobilised their men to join forces with the Fulani in the FCT to unleash mayhem on the natives.
The FCT Commissioner of Police also disclosed how his committee averted reprisals, just as he thanked the leadership of Miyetti-Allah, a Fulani socio-cultural group for their cooperation in averting further crisis in the area.
“With the cooperation of the ‘Miyetti-Allah’, they were able to avert the involvement of freedom fighters from neighbouring Cameroun, Katsina and Kano. We were told that freedom fighters from these areas had called in members to see if they were to join in Gwagwalada…”, he told the minister.
“During our series of meetings by the committee set up by the FCT minister to look into the remote causes of what led to the bloody clash between the Fulani and the Gbagi, we received calls from mercenaries from Cameroun, Katsina, Edo and in some northern states who were on standby to join forces with the Fulani in FCT and start another round of war.
“But for the wise response of the Fulani elders who quickly told them that the administration was on top of the issue, we would have been singing another song.
“We were able to avert that mayhem amicably and we hope that both the Fulani and Gbagi will continue to live together in peace,” Adenrele added.
He expressed the need to reconcile the various groups but added that punishment for culprits was necessary to avoid a recurrence.
Meanwhile, the Minister of FCT, Bala Mohammed Monday again announced the setting up of an implementation committee to take over from the fact-finding team.
The nine-member implementation committee has the Permanent Secretary of the FCT, Dr. Anthony Ozodinobi as chairman.
Announcing the new committee, Mohammed said the territory was large enough to accommodate the diverse people of Nigeria and warned that the administration would not tolerate any act that could breach the peace of the territory.
The minister who promised full backing for the committee, said there was no room for troublemakers, thanking the traditional rulers, area council chiefs and the security agencies for prompt response to the crisis.
He assured that all those found culpable in the ugly incident would face the full wrath of the law to serve as a deterrent.
|< Prev||Next >|