A violent clash between Fulani herdsmen and vigilantes at a busy market in Niger State left two people dead and seven injured on Wednesday.
The incident occurred at Beji weekly Market, a major hub for livestock and grains trading, in Bosso LGA, about 30km from the state capital, Minna.
According to eyewitnesses, the fight broke out around 5pm when the market was crowded with buyers and sellers.
The cause of the conflict was not clear, but it was suspected to be related to the long-standing feud between Fulani and Gbagyi farmers over land and grazing rights.
The injured victims, all of whom were Fulani, were taken to the Beji Primary Healthcare Centre, where they received treatment for bullet wounds.
The Assistant Head of Medical Services, Aliyu Yusuf, confirmed the casualties and said that the survivors were in stable condition.
The Niger State government condemned the violence and urged both sides to refrain from taking the law into their own hands.
The Commissioner for Nomadic and Pastoral Affairs, Umar Rabe Sands, said that the government would engage with all stakeholders to find a peaceful solution to the problem.
He also warned against any form of retaliation, saying that there were alternative ways of resolving disputes without resorting to bloodshed.
The Vice President of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Zone B, Abdullahi Mu’azu, also appealed for calm and called on the authorities to intervene to prevent a recurrence of the incident.
He said that the clash had disrupted the normal activities of the market, which was vital for the economic and social well-being of the people.