Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen at the early hours of Saturday attacked three villages in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State and killed nine Tiv farmers.
The villages are Ajikamaka, Gidan Rail and Ankoma near Rukubi where Olam farm is located. The settlements belong to the late Hon Michael Koko, a Tiv man who represented Doma South in the Nasarawa State House of Assembly for two terms between 1999 and 2007.
Majority of the victims were said to be asleep when the marauding herdsmen surrounded the villages, set fire to some thatch houses and opened fire on them as they attempted to escape, killing nine.
Most of the victims were children, women and young boys. Among them were Tsekaa Chiatyo, Kwaghdoo Tsekaa, Sewuese Tsekaa, Bobo Chiatyo, Aondosee Fidelis, Aboy, Igba Aduku, Iwuesi and Aseer.
The gunmen, who were said to be carrying sophisticated weapons, invaded the community about 2:00am on Saturday, shooting sporadically and chanting war songs.
The deputy chairman of Doma local government, Hon Atukpa Osukunu, who confirmed the development, said the attacks on the Tiv community was a reprisal one, adding that a few days ago, the Fulani who also settled within the area found one of them dead in the bush and suspected the Tiv community in the area.
Hon Osukunu also condemned the actions of the herdsmen whom he said took the laws into their hands by launching a reprisal attack without allowing the authorities carry out investigation to unravel the cause of the death of the Fulani man.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Nasarawa State police command ASP Ramham Nansel said the development was yet to be reported to the command.
President, Tiv Development Association (TIDA) in Nasarawa State, Comrade Peter Ahemba, who also confirmed the incident, while speaking with journalists in Lafia, condemned the attack, describing it as unprovoked and unfortunate.
He lamented that the attacks on Tiv people in the state, particularly those living at the border areas between Benue and Nasarawa states had become a recurring decimal despite efforts by the Nasarawa State governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule and his Benue State counterpart, Dr. Samuel Ortom to ensure a lasting peace.
The Tiv leader lamented that the ugly development had led to the displacement of thousands of Tiv farmers in the area, regretting that the incident was happening at a critical time when farmers were set to commence the current farming season.
While acknowledging efforts by the Nasarawa State government to ensure peace and security at the border areas of the state, the TIDA president appealed to the state government to deploy security operatives to the trouble area to forestall further breakdown of law and order.
He called on the Tiv people to remain calm and avoid taking law into their hands despite the unprovoked attack, as the state government was taking measures to restore normalcy.