A football pitch argument between two players on Saturday sparked an orgy of religious violence in Wukari, in the northern Taraba State, leaving at least five people dead, according to local media reports.
Many others were injured and properties estimated at millions of Naira destroyed as Christians and Muslims took on one another in the ensuing violence.
According to the reports, the Police immediately swung into action to quell the violence and prevent a spill over to the neighbouring states of Benue and Nasarawa.
It was not immediately clear what the argument between the two footballers was all about during a practice session.
Eye-witnesses only said one of the players, a Muslim, pulled a gun and shot the other, a Christian and within minutes hell was let loose and the area was engulfed in violence.
News of the incident soon spread to other parts of the town and religious zealots on both sides capitalised on the confusion to perpetrate mayhem.
An eye-witness said: “The two players disagreed over a football-related issue during play. One of them felt too aggrieved. He dashed home and returned with a gun with which he shot the other footballer.”
The reports said Saturday's violence came barely three months after a clash between Muslims and Christians in Ibi Local Government Area of the state left over 10 people dead, with churches, mosques, commercial and residential buildings torched.
Police Spokesman Amos Olaoye confirmed the crisis, saying heavily armed policemen were drafted to the crisis zone to maintain law and order.