Three shot, properties destroyed over land dispute in Niger communities

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Three persons were shot, and properties destroyed during a violent clash stemming from a long-standing land dispute between the Katakpa and Elegi communities in Ebbo Gbacinku ward of Lapai Local Government Area of Niger State.

According to sources, tension flared when members of the Katakpa community began farming on the disputed land, leading to a confrontation with residents of the neighboring Elegi community, who are also laying claim to the territory.

“There were heated exchanges of words which quickly escalated into physical violence,” a witness recounted.

The altercation escalated into gunfire, resulting in injuries to three individuals from the Katakpa community.

Simultaneously, in nearby Gbage and Chigbaga villages, four individuals were injured in the communal unrest.

“This dispute over land ownership has deep historical roots and has been a recurrent issue between our communities,” a resident disclosed.

In Gbage and Chigbaga communities within the same locality, the unrest led to injuries sustained by four individuals who are currently hospitalized and receiving medical treatment.

A motorcycle and a tractor were also burnt during the faceoff.

Confirming the report, Wasiu Abiodun, Niger State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), said, “The DPO of Lapai Division mobilized patrol teams and vigilantes to restore order.

“On 3/7/2024 at about 1200hrs, an incident of communal clash was reported through Ebbo Police outstation that there was a clash between Gbage and Chigbaga villages via Lapai over a disputed land.

“The incident is under investigation, and efforts are being intensified to arrest the perpetrators.

“In another development, on the same date at about 1800hrs, a fight was also reported between Katakpa and Elegi villages of Lapai area over another lingering land tussle before the court.

“Consequently, four persons also sustained injuries and were taken to Gulu General Hospital for treatment.”

The PPRO added that “two persons have been arrested in connection to the clash, and the situation is relatively calm, while investigation and monitoring continue, and measures to avert reoccurrence are maintained on the ground.”

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