Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo |
Barely ten hours after Taraba state governor Darius Ishaku raised an alarm over an impending attack on the state, gunmen last night attacked and killed four persons in Ngutswen village of Gassol local government area of the state.
Narrating the incident, Mr. Tyav Ngutswen who is the surviving eldest person in the village, said that the heavily armed attackers numbering over twenty stormed the village around 10:00 pm and opened fire, killing four persons as they scampered for safety.
Ngutswen said that over ten persons have been killed by herdsmen since the beginning of year, but that the new incident started when cattle ate yams harvested and kept in a village house, for which herdsmen were made to pay compensation.
According to Ngutswen, the herdsmen vowed retaliation on the villagers and seem to have made good on their promise with the attack.
“We were already asleep last night around 10pm when gunmen numbering over 20 came into our village and started shooting with sophisticated weapons. As the people were running into the bush, four of our people were killed, among them a man and his wife.
“This year alone, over ten persons from this village have been killed. Two weeks ago, herdsmen came with their cows and ate some of our yams that have been harvested and stored. As peace loving people, we engaged them in dialogue and they had to pay a compensation of N40,000.
“They vowed to pay us back and have made good their promise by this attack,” the villager said.
The chairman of Tiv Social Cultural Group in the local government, Mr. Zachariah Terhile, said that it was unfortunate that the police were treating the case as a mere robbery despite evidence to the contrary.
Terhile regretted that efforts to stop the continued attacks on and killings of his people by herdsmen had not yielded any meaningful results, as local and state authorities seemed uncommitted to the cause.
When Saturday Sun visited the village, most of the residents had already moved their belongings out of the settlement and were burying their dead amidst tears and sorrow.