Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, has joined other notable voices to condemn the attacks on some villages in Lau Local Government Area of the state which has led to the death of over 42 persons and displacement of over a thousand people.
More than 42 people, mostly women and children, were said to have been killed across 12 villages in the State, by armed Fulani herdsmen, within the last 48 hours.
Ishaku, who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Bala Dan-Abu, condemned the renewed attacks in the state and called on the Federal Government to arrest the situation.
“This continued attacks and senseless killings of innocent farmers is abominable and a call for anarchy. We want the federal government to do something more concrete in ending the spate of killings in the state.
“The governor has no control over security personnel in the state, so we are looking up to the federal government to direct security agencies to arrest the situation urgently,” he said.
Mr. Dauda Marafa, who hail from the area, told newsmen that armed Fulani herdsmen invaded communities in the local government, after attacking villages in Adamawa, killing anybody in sight.
“As of last count this morning (yesterday), 42 people were killed across 12 villages, including Bujum, Yilti, Bunzung, Sabon Gida, Kwajafa, Sobon Layi and Budon. Other villages are Bamga Dutse, Bawa Garki, Mayo Lope and Kpanti Ladi.
“Over 2,000 displaced persons from the area are currently taking refuge at Negatavah Primary and Secondary Schools in Jalingo metropolis and more are still trooping in since this new wave of attacks started.
“This has now become a trend. I think this attack is one too many and it is high time the government did something drastic to address this situation. Already a lot of people mostly farmers have been displaced and their lands taken over by herdsmen. They can’t go back to farm and here we are, experiencing even more attacks.
This is one attack too many like I have said and something needs to be done and done expediently too”, Marafa said.
He lamented the failure of security agencies to deploy their men to the area, saying the casualty figure might rise as attacks were still ongoing.
Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Peter Julius, who also hailed from the area said 19 of those killed were from five neighbouring villages and called on the Federal Government to urgently deploy security in the area to prevent the attacks from spreading.
Police Public Relations Officer, David Missal, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, who confirmed the attacks said six people were killed, and explained that Special Anti Robbery Squad and Mobile Police commanders have temporarily relocated to the areas under attack to calm the situation.
“Apart from the deployment of our patrol team to the area, Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations have been going there and coming back on a daily basis for the past three days to monitor the situation.
“We are also engaging critical stakeholders from the area in series of meetings with a view to restoring peace and normalcy,” he said.