20 Tiv Farmers Killed as Fulani Herdsmen attack Taraba Community
A violent clash between herdsmen and farmers in Taraba State has led to the death of 24 people. Sources said that 20 of the victims were farmers of the Tiv stock while two were Fulani herdsmen. The identity of the other two is yet to be established.
It was learnt that several others, especially women and children from the Tiv ethnic group, were missing.
The fresh crisis first broke out on Saturday between Tiv and Fulani herdsmen affected Sabon Gidan village in Dan Anacha town of Gassol Local Government Area of the state.
Fleeing residents of the area said the crisis spilled over to yesterday morning as angry Fulani herdsmen revenged the alleged murder of two of their kinsmen by the Tiv farmers.
The bodies of the victims were allegedly found in a bush which forced the Fulani to undertake reprisal attack on the Tiv.
An eyewitness on phone in Jalingo, the state capital said: “I counted about 20 corpses who were killed in the early hours of today, Sunday,” adding that, “many people including women and children are missing.”
The state command Police Public Relations Officer, ASP David Misal, confirmed the renewed violent clashes.
He said: “Actually, I cannot tell you that there are no casualties, but we will release the figures after we might have finished combing the area. It was an undercover attack by some unidentified people in the area.”
He said that the Police authorities have drafted more operatives to the area to restore peace and order but declined to comment on the casualty figure.
Meanwhile, the Acting Chairman of Concerned Taraba Tiv Youth Frontier, Dooior Tokula, has said the persistent attacks on the farmers by the herdsmen had made it “difficult for our people to farm.”
The worst victims of the current attacks, according to him, are women and children, stressing that “as I talk to you, several of our women and children are missing, and we don’t know their whereabouts”.
He said that apart from the farmers that were killed, several houses, farm produces and domestic animals were destroyed by the armed herdsmen.
Torkula said that the injured had been rushed to hospitals and clinics in the neighbouring Wukari Local Government Area.
He said that the casualty figure could be higher,” adding that “so far, we have recovered 24 bodies.”
Torkula claimed that apart from the ongoing attacks in Dan-Anacha village, peace had eluded the people of Borno-Kruku village in the same council as several persons have been hacked down by the herdsmen.
He said that his group recovered 12 corpses in Dan-Anacha shortly after the attacks, adding that four other bodies were retrieved from the Borno- Kruku road on the outskirts of Dan-Anacha, while two corpses were found in the farms.
He alleged that the attackers broke into most of the victims’ houses while they slept and killed them.
The attacks, according to him, have compelled the people to flee to the neighbouring Benue, and Plateau States.
Misal (Police spokesman) admitted that there were separate attacks in Gassol council but could not ascertain the number of casualties.
He said: “For now, I cannot tell you the exact numbers of casualties. But I can assure you that we have drafted our men to the spots.”
Attempt by the state government to recently change the name of the village (Dan-Anacha) to Kwararafa almost led to a mayhem but for the swift intervention of security operatives.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Sylvanus Giwa, said that the state government will not relent on its efforts to ensure peace in the state.