Following violence between Gbagyi and Hausa youths in Bwari Area Council (BAC), the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Musa Bello, has declared a 12-hour dusk to dawn curfew in the town that houses the Nigerian Law School and Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
A resident of the town tied the violence to the seething anger of the Gbagyi people over the manner the apparatus of government was used to dislodge their hold on traditional power, and their own traditional ruler, was made inferior to an imposed Hausa ruler.
It was learnt however that the present disagreement which led to violence and burning of shops belonging to Gbagyi landlords, but housing mainly Igbo traders, began last night after a Gbagyi man was allegedly found stabbed to death in a cult war. Another was allegedly shot dead Christmas morning.
What happened next was difficult to piece together, but it was gathered that an attempt to over-run an ECWA Church by some youths met with resistance from young worshippers there who turned on the alleged attackers.
The situation quickly spiralled out of control leading to the burning of shops in the town center and the deployment of troops from the Bwari military Base Camp.
The Minister was said to have visited the town, and after a meeting with Area Council officials, declared the dusk to dawn curfew.
An eye-witness said it was obvious that the youths at the center of the torching of buildings were mainly those who were not permanently based in Bwari.
“They are the commercial motorcyclists, scavengers, and handymen that are found around the center of the town. They have no homes here and come mainly to do odd jobs like shoe-shinning, weeding. They flow in during the dry season and sleep anywhere they find space in religious centers. Government should find out if they have sponsors in this particular case,” he said.
Yesterday evening, there was grave-yard silence as the streets were completely deserted and security men patrolled.