Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The Speaker of Taraba State House of Assembly, Joseph Kunini, has condemned the attack on Shomoh Sarki village in Lau local government area of the state by suspected Jole militia, leading to the death of over 18 persons and destruction of property.
The speaker who spoke to our correspondent in Jalingo on Wednesday said that it was barbaric and the highly insensitive for any group of persons to take up arms against another group at a time that the whole world was struggling with the global devastation caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
The Jole militia had stormed the sleepy Shomoh Sarki village in the early hours of Easter Sunday, shooting sporadically, killing and maiming the villagers as some drowned after jumping into River Benue.
“I feel highly saddened by the event of Easter Sunday night, where some militia attacked the Shomoh village and killed several persons before destroying the whole village. The cruelty of this attack is further worsened by the timing which it is coming when the whole world is battling to contain the global pandemic of COVID-19.
“At this point, we are supposed to be our brothers’ keepers and to work for the common good rather than taking arms against one another. This is barbaric, inhuman and the height of insensitivity. This must be condemned in the strongest terms even as I call on the relevant authorities to make sure the perpetrators of this dastardly act are brought to book”.
He lamented that despite a series of peace and reconciliation meetings, jointly organized by the state government and Lau local government council in collaboration with BAKULA CHIEFDOM, the Jole militia still went ahead to carry out the heinous crime.
The speaker wondered why the warring parties, especially the Jole, refused to heed to the clarion call by Governor Darius Ishaku that people should give him peace so that he would give them development.
Kunini further called on the people to sheath their swords and embrace the governor’s concerted efforts at bringing lasting peace in the state.
Our correspondent reports that the two warring parties of Shomoh and Jole have been on warpath since 2016 over the ownership of Lake Marmi located within their villages, prompting the state government to take over the ownership of the lake to forestall further crisis, but all to no avail.