Written by Sarah NEGEDU, Austine ELEMUE

Fresh crisis in Bwari, FCTA imposes curfew

The relative peace in Bwari, the headquarters of Bwari area council, was again threatened as Gbagyi and Koro youths clashed over the weekend.

Bwari was last Christmas Day thrown into communal clash over the recognition of Alhaji Awwal Ijakoro as Sarkin Bwari by the Federal Capital Territory Administration, a move deemed inappropriate by the Gbagyis.

The clash saw over 18 people killed and goods estimated at N500 million destroyed and it took the intervention of the police and military to put the situation under control.

Before the December clash, Bwari youths had protested at the Three Arms Zone in the capital city and later marched to the office of the FCT Minister and the National Assembly to demand a halt to the plan to give Ijakoro staff of office.

The Dami Dami Bwari, the Esu palace spokesman, Mr. Timothy Dakwoyi, had protested that the decision to install a man from Niger State as Sarkin Bwari in the FCT was injustice.

According to Dakwoyi, the General Jeremiah Useni committed an error when he appointed the late Ijakoro as the Sarkin Bwari and it was about time that the historical mistake was corrected in the interest of peace and security in the area.

Trouble resurfaced during the Sallah holidays when some Gbagyi youths attempted to stop the Sarkin Bwari, Alhaji Awwal Ijakoro, from going round the community to pay Sallah homage to residents.

The indigenes have for years now clamoured for a single traditional ruler for the community, insisting that the Sarkin Bwari is only a settler, therefore, not entitled to such a traditional stool.

Though calm has been restored, one of our correspondents who was at Bwari during the weekend said residents were scared that if the situation is not handled properly, it could quickly degenerate into serious clash between the warring groups.

According some of the residents who asked not to be named, they are youths who feel bitter about the Christmas Day mayhem and believe that the FCTA did not handle the situation fairly.

“I can tell you that they are youths who have not forgotten what happened here last Christmas Day. They think the FCTA did not act fairly and have waited for what they think is an opportunity to vent their anger. So disrupting Sallah celebrations was the pay back for the Christmas Day crisis,” a resident explained.

The rumour of the fighting soon spread with shops quickly closed and people running home not to be caught in a possible breakdown of law and order.

Following the incident, the FCT Administration said it was deeply concerned over attempts by some miscreants to reincarnate the December 25, 2017 crisis in Bwari area council.

A statement by Abubakar Sani, SA Media to FCT minister, warned that the administration “shall not condone any attempts by any group of persons to precipitate the breakdown of law and order in Bwari Area Council or indeed any part of the Federal Territory.”

Sani said the renewed crisis calls for stringent measures in order to protect lives and property as well as forestall the breakdown of law and order, therefore, “a 8pm to 6am curfew is hereby imposed on Bwari for today Saturday June 16 while the curfew will run from 6pm to 6am from tomorrow Sunday June 17th until further notice.”

The SA Media further stated that security agencies have been directed to ensure that residents comply fully with curfew, while urging all residents to continue to be law abiding and go about their lawful activities.



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