Tension has gripped residents of Sapele, Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State as Hausa traders and Fulani herders in the area on Monday engaged in a bloody clash at the popular Hausa Market along Benin-Warri road, Amukpe, in the metropolis.
Witnesses said that no fewer than ten persons sustained varied degrees of injury in the ensuing pandemonium and were rushed to different hospitals in the area.
Some wooden shops at the market were also visibly destroyed in the clash which resulted into a massive gridlock with many motorists hurriedly abandoning their vehicle by the roadsude and fleeing for dear lives.
It was gathered that the two warring groups started engaging in a superiority battle on Sunday night after a Hausa boy from one of the Northern States was reportedly stabbed by a Fulani herder in the bush, and he rushed home with injuries.
Angered by the stabbing, the Hausas in the market, especially those of Nasarawa origin, were said to have hurriedly mobilised and attacked the Fulani herdsmen settlements in the bush.
But the Fulanis reportedly fought back, allegedly with dangerous weapons, a development which resulted in the battle that got even people who are not of northern origin running for their lives.
Meanwhile, police operatives from the Sapele Police station led by CSP Harrison Nwaboisi have waded into the incident by mobilising security to strategic locations with a view to dousing the tension and preventing further damage.
Commenting on the incident, a trader at the market, Ibrahim Umoru, told journalists that the crisis erupted after an Hausa boy was stabbed by a Fulani man because he was allegedly found around their camp.
“Maybe he (Fulani man) thought the boy came to steal from them. He did not ask why he (the boy) was there. The matter came to us this morning and we can’t just sit there and watch them attack us every time. We want to tell them we are not fools” the Hausa trader stated.
A Fulani herdsman who spoke with newsmen under unanimity blamed the Hausas for the clash, but did not elaborate.
The acting Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Edafe Bright, could not be reached for comment on the incident as of the time of filing this report.