BY MAIRIGA Juliana,Minna
Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen lunched an early morning attack on a community mosque in Etogi community, Gbara ward, in Mokwa local government area of Niger state killing 21 villagers including the Imam of the Mosque.
The attack occurred when the villagers were observing their early morning prayers causing other villagers to take to their heels, a situation which led to women and children sustaining various degrees of injuries.
National Trail learnt that the attack was as a result of an earlier disagreement between some Fulani youth and members of the affected community which resulted in the death of herder.
The disagreement was due to the fact that the herders failed to remit the percentage of the proceed of the land given to them by the villagers which was meant to go to the village head as the herders maintained that the land is theirs.
According to a witness, the attackers killed everyone in the mosque including the Imam.
The Niger state Police Command confirmed that the attack occurred saying that the attack was a reprisal to the death of a herdsman who died as à result of the disagreement between the villagers and the herdsmen.
However, the state Police Public Relation Officer, DSP Bala Elkana said 20 people were killed during the early morning prayers.
“The killing of a herder was managed but it appears they were not satisfied and decided to retaliate”, Elkana stated.
He further said that eight people sustained various degrees of injuries due to the commotion that occurred during the attack adding that they are currently recuperating in a nearby hospital.
He said that there is peace in the community as mobile policemen have been deployed to ensure that there is no more trouble from any of the affected parties.