From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu

No fewer than eight persons were feared dead and property worth millions of naira burnt down, yesterday, at Adani, Uzo-Uwani Local Government of Enugu State, following alleged clash between Fulani herdsmen and members of Igga Community resident at Adani.

Trouble was said to have started when some Fulani herdsmen shot a young man from Igga who was working at Adarice Factory in Adani, over misunderstanding, and blocked sympathisers from taking the victim to hospital.

Already the State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ndatsu Aliyu, and other top security operatives in the state had visited the scene of the incident to ascertain the true position of things.

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When contacted at press time, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Daniel Ndukwe (ASP), who accompanied the Commissioner on the mission, confirmed the incident, but promised to issue a statement to that effect later. The clash, which allegedly started at Presco Junction, was said to have witnessed sporadic gun shots and burning of houses and other valuable properties.

However, there were two versions of the story with one source saying that the refusal by the herdsmen to allow the wounded farmer to be rushed to hospital triggered some reactions which attracted some members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), to the spot, leading to a showdown between the herdsmen and members of the ESN.

Another version alleged that it was amid the attempt to resuscitate the young man with bullet wound, that an unknown number of angry youths on motorcycles stormed the scene and started shooting at those barricading the factory worker from receiving medical attention, resulting in the casualties. Some of the residents who spoke on condition of anonymity alleged that hunters and even some local vigilantes had encountered some unfamiliar faces suspected to be personnel of ESN, in the forests around the council area, who told them that they were not after any law-abiding residents in the area.

Meanwhile, many residents of Adani were said to have fled to neighbouring communities in Nsukka and Igboetiti Local Governments.