From: Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
More than 15, 000 persons, mostly farmers, have fled their homes to IDP camps in Taraba State following renewed attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
Suspected herdsmen had launched deadly attacks on Gazabu, Kungana, Tukun Ruwa, Utsua Daa and Kpenkpen villages, among others, leaving at least 11 people dead and scores injured.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP David Misal, said the command had deployed more security operatives to the remote areas affected in order to check further killings.
“Yes we receive reports that since on Sunday, there has being series of attacks in the remote communities in Bali local government area of the state but the command is on top of the situation.
Misal said that due to the remoteness of the affected areas, the response is not as effective as it should have been but assured that normalcy would return to the affected areas soon.
Zaki David Gbaa, the Chief of Tiv in Bali (Ter Bali) and Chairman, Council of Tiv traditional rulers forum in Taraba, said 11 of his people were killed by herdsmen in the crisis that wiped out Gazabu, Kungana, Tukun Ruwa, Utsua Daa and Kpenkpen villages in Bali local government area.
Crisis started when an Icheen man was murdered in cold blood by unknown gunmen. The Icheen people reportedly suspected the Tiv people to have carried out the assassination and while the leaders on both sides were discussing to resolve the issue amicably, the Fulani herdsmen who have been laying in wait launched the attack killing over eleven.
When Daily Sun visited some of the IDP camps in Bali local government area, large number of people were coming in, mostly women and children, some of them with various degrees of injuries attributed to attacks from herdsmen.
Some of the people had lost their loved ones and property and considered themselves lucky to have survived the onslaught by the herdsmen.
While condemning the incessant attacks in the area, Gbaa urged Gov Darius Ishaku to hold the local chiefs in the affected areas accountable for the crisis and appealed to the State House of Assembly to investigate the crisis with a view to bringing a permanent solution to the incessant attacks on his people.
He commended the state government for the steps taken to restore peace in the state but called for urgent deployment of additional security personnel in the area and to provide relief materials for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) who were in various camps in Bali town.
Gbaa said the number of IDPs was already overwhelming and beyond what the host communities alone could contain.
On his part, the Lamdo Bakundi, Alhaji Misa Gidado in whose domain the crisis broke out told newsmen that he had been holding series of meetings with stakeholders to ensure a quick end to the crisis.
Gidado appealed to the government to deploy more security operatives to the area to restore peace.