Baba Alakyo, the spiritual leader of the Ombatse, an Eggon group, was feared killed alongside the village head in an early morning raid on Alakyo, near Lafia, Nasarawa State yesterday.
Alakyo is the village where about 74 security operatives were ambushed and killed on May 7, 2013. It was burnt down along with other Eggon settlements of Fadaman Bauna and Akura, displaced persons said. Scores were said to have been killed.
The invasion happened barely a day after Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura led a peace walk round Lafia, the state capital in celebration of his 62nd birthday.
Barrister Zachary Zamani Allumaga, Legal Adviser of the Ombatse group which has been proscribed by the state government, said information available to him showed that Baba Alakyo and the village head of Alakyo were killed in the raid which he blamed on the Fulani. He however later sent a text message to say the information on the killing of Baba Alakyo may have been cooked by “those who don’t mean well for peace”.
NewsWireNGR had yesterday reported that Fulani gunmen stormed Alakyo from four directions, killed scores and burnt properties worth millions.
Villagers said the raid that was carried out at about 5:30am, took the villagers by surprise. It was difficult to locate any source within the village, but persons displaced from neighbouring settlements told Daily Trust that heavy and sustained gunfire was heard at dawn in the village.
They said a large band of militia group suspected to be members of the Ombatse tried to enter Alakyo to save the settlement but went late as it had already been taken by the Fulani militia. They said the Fulani militia also burned down four brand new Toyota Hilux vans. The militia was said to have also entered Fadaman Bauna and Akura, two other Eggon settlements and raided them, killing dozens. An Eggon leader who hails from Akura told Daily Trust that he narrowly escaped death, calling it genocide against his tribe.
He said: “From the information we have received, Baba Alakyo was killed”. Allumaga, the Ombatse leader, alleged that the Fulani came from Wamba, a neighbouring local government area.
Hussaini Mohammed, the state secretary of the Miyetti Allah, a Fulani group, denied that Fulani people were on genocide against the Eggon people, just as he denied knowledge of any invasion by his tribesmen.
The state’s Head of Service, Dr. Dominic Bako, escaped death when he ran into a road block mounted by gunmen along the Lafia-Akwanga road during the bloody violence. Bako was shot on his left arm and was rushed to Lafia where he was treated at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital. He could not identify the gunmen, but said they were in a large number and had gathered along the road.