BY MAIRIGA Juliana, Minna
Palpable fear now grips Nigerlites, Minna the state capital in particular as no fewer than five people are feared dead and scores of others injured when crisis erupted between two Islamic sects in Munya local government area of the state last weekend.
Those injured in the clash were said to have been treated for gunshot wounds in private hospitals in Sarkin -pawa headquarters of Munya local government area and at government hospital in Gwada town, some kilometers to Guni town where the crisis first broke out.
The fracas between, Darikah and Izala Islamic sect in the area, our correspondent gathered is said to be as a result of disagreements over the timing for the observance of Jumat prayer and decision of the Izala to have a separate prayer ground in the community.
Dangerous weapons including sophisticated rifles and Dane guns were freely used which was reported to have caused the heavy casualty, the source further hinted, adding that a large number of suspects were arrested by the police in Sarkin-pawa and were also transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Niger state police headquarters in Minna.
The source further hinted that, one of the sects has been against the decision of the other over some prayer observations and has never hidden the desire to ensure that the other group change else there would be trouble.
The no love lost between the two groups later came to the fore last weekend during the congregational prayer at 12.30 pm when one group tried to stop the members of the other sect from saying the usual daily prayer according to their own timing.
A disagreement ensued between the members leading to the free for all and use of dangerous weapons against each other which led to other worshipers and villagers scampering for safety with some also escaping to Minna the state capital and the council headquarters, Sarkin-Pawa.
A member of the House of Assembly from the area, Mr. Paul John Bahago and the Commissioner nominee from the area, Alhjai Danjuma Salau were in the area to commiserate with the injured while also praying Allah to grant those who lost their lives eternal rest.
Mr. Paul Bahago who described the incident as, “sad and unfortunate” also urged the people of the affected area to learn to live in peace with one another as there is no reason fighting over religion which should be a thing of the heart.
Efforts to confirm from the crisis from state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Mohammed Abubakar proved abortive as he refused to pick his cell phones when he was called several times and also refused to reply text messages sent to him.