Two persons lost their lives in a bloody clash between Igbos and Fulanis at the popular Gariki market, in Enugu.
The incident occurred on Wednesday night. Our correspondent learnt, during a visit to the market on Thursday, that the deceased persons had been identified as Ali, a Fulani and Ifeacho Ifeanyi, an Igbo.
It was equally gathered that the clash was triggered by a disagreement over the sum of N100.
Eye witnesses disclosed that trouble started when, late on Wednesday evening, the said Ali, whose surname could not be ascertained as of the time of filing this report, came to slaughter a cow at an abattoir located in the Gariki market.
They said Ali, who ordinarily would have gone to slaughter his cow in the New Artisan market abattoir, opted for Gariki market abattoir because the New Artsisan market had been closed by the Enugu State Government following the killing of a policeman by a mob of Keke NAPEP riders.
However, Ali, paid N400 instead of the required N500, which infuriated Ifeanyi,leading to a dispute.
The dispute between the two men overthe said N100 soon turned violent, and in the ensuing fight, Ali allegedly brought out a dagger and stabbed Ifeanyi several times in the stomach, exposing his intestines. Ifeanyi slumped and died on the spot.
But Ali met his own end immediately, as some Igbo traders, who were enraged at the development, apprehended him as he tried to escape and beat him to death.
The irate Igbo traders went further by burning a mosque that is located inside the Gariki market, where the large population of Northerners in the market worshipped.
Our correspondent gathered that the crisis would have further degenerated to the burning of shops and loss of more lives, had it not been for a team of anti-riot policemen who arrived at the market to stabilise the situation.
Spokesman for the Enugu State PoliceCommand, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, who confirmed the development, said the police had restored normalcy in the market and environs.
He said the police was on the ground to prevent further breakdown of the law and order. Amaraizu added that the police was investigating the incident.