Many people have been killed and 27 injured following renewed hostility between farmers and herders in Lafia, Obi and Awe local government areas of Nasarawa State.
Daily Trust gathered that the first attack, which started on Friday morning, continued up till Sunday night.
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A source said at least 5, 000 farmers across 12 communities have been displaced as a result of the attacks in the three local government areas.
Sources and authorities said some of those who sustained injuries were currently receiving treatment at hospitals in Obi, Lafia and Awe local government areas.
Some sources in the affected communities said the attacks between herders and farmers had been going on for some days.
Speaking on the development, the Police Public Relations Officer, Nasarawa State Command, ASP Ramhan Nansel, said a complaint was made on Friday that one Umaru Idrisu of Gidan Washi village in Obi LGA was attacked and killed by unknown armed men.
He said after receiving the complaint, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Adesina Soyemi immediately directed the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Obi LGA to move to the scene where the corpse was recovered and later taken to the hospital for postmortem before it was released to the family for burial according to Islamic rites.
His words: “While the investigation was ongoing, a suspected reprisal attack was carried out by unknown persons in Hangara village, Lafia East Development Area in Lafia LGA and crossed over to the neighbouring Kwayero village of Obi LGA.
“The following persons namely; Sani Dauda, Danjuma Liambee, Uloho Jerry, Shedrack Kente, Boniface John, Tersoo Clement, Gwanje Soja and Ayuba Ali were attacked and killed; their corpses were recovered and taken to the hospital by the Police.
“A joint team of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the military has been mobilised to the affected areas to restore peace and possible arrest of the perpetrators of the dastardly act,” he said.
Our correspondent recalls that gunmen had last month invaded the Ashige community in Lafia LGA where two Fulani herdsmen were shot dead, which led to a riot before calmness was restored to the community by security operatives.
Speaking on the latest development, the Nasarawa State President of Tiv Development Association (TID), Mr Peter Ahemba, who spoke to our correspondent, said that over twenty corpses of his kinsmen were recovered across the twelve affected communities in the three local government areas of the state.
These included Chabo, Daar, Tse-Udugh, Ayaakeke, Kyor-Chiha, Usual, Hagher, Joor, Angwan, Ayaba, Tyungu and Ugba.
“Over 5,000 persons have been displaced and are taking refuge in Obi and Agwatashi towns while some of them have relocated to their relatives in Lafia Local Government Area of the state.”
“Many are still missing in the bush and we don’t know whether they are alive or dead,” he expressed worry. Tiv people did not do anything that would warrant this attack,” he said.
He called on both the state and the federal governments to deploy security operatives to the affected areas to restore law and order.
However, Governor Abdullahi Sule yesterday said his administration had launched a manhunt of the killers of Fulani herder and Tiv farmers in the state at the weekend.
Sule, who said this during a meeting with the heads of security agencies, traditional rulers and Tiv and Fulani community leaders in Obi Local Government Area of the state, said that his administration would protect the life and property of citizens in the state.
According to him, the meeting was in response and part of sustained efforts to avert persistence violence in Obi, Awe and Lafia local government areas.
He said, “There was needless loss of lives of our citizens. Such act of violence is most unfortunate, condemnable, and unacceptable and will not be condoned by this administration.
“I am admonishing you all to live in peace with one another and to shun mischief makers looking for opportunities to cause mayhem,” he said.
The governor also told community leaders to avoid making spurious claims to give wrong impression within and outside the state.
“Relief materials will be sent to displaced persons and government will work with all stakeholders to ensure that they return to their communities and businesses as soon as possible,” he said.
Residents flee as bandits kill traditional ruler in Kaduna
The Magajin Garin Idasu in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Malam Magaji Ibrahim, has been shot dead.
He was killed 24 hours after 40 people were murdered across Kaduna LGAs including Giwa.
One of the youth leaders in Rahiya village, Ridwan Abdulhadi, told Daily Trust that over 70 per cent of the people in the village had fled to safer communities in part of Zaria and Giwa town.
It was gathered that the deceased was killed when bandits invaded the community on Sunday.
A resident, Sharehu Idasu, said the victim was shot when he came out of his residence calling for help after the bandits invaded the community.
He said, “He was shot by the bandits after they invaded Idasu community on Sunday night and stole motorcycles. The deceased came out to call for help but was shot.”
The deceased, who was one of the elderly persons in the community, has been buried according to Islamic rites.
The killing came after residents of Rahiya village in the LGA were attacked by bandits on Saturday evening.
“Over 70 per cent of our people flee to Giwa town and Zaria to stay with other family members because what happened on that day was terrible…23 people were killed at Rahiya alone, 21 of them were married men. Only two persons were single,” he said.
He said four other persons sustained injuries, saying such people and the orphans left behind needed urgent assistance from the government.
Daily Trust reported on Monday how the bandits attacked Kauran Fawa, Marke and Rahiya villages in the Idasu ward of Giwa LGA.
The State Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, who confirmed the attack in a statement issued on Sunday said 38 persons were murdered across the three villages attacked.
The Kaduna State Police Command Public Relations Officer, ASP Jalige Mohammed, could not be reached to speak on the killing of the traditional ruler as calls to his phone were unanswered.
ACF slams Buhari, northern govs
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has called out President Muhammadu Buhari and the 19 northern governors for not showing empathy to traumatised families that lost loved ones during attacks by bandits.
The Forum said by constantly ignoring the plight of attacked communities, President Buhari and northern governors were “unwittingly” creating the impression that only their lives and those of their immediate family members and their offices mattered.
The group specifically referred to Saturday’s attack in Kaduna and also reminded the federal government and other state governors of recent attacks in the region.
It advised Governor Nasir El-Rufai to immediately visit attacked villages in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State where 38 people were killed and properties destroyed on Saturday evening.
In a statement issued by the ACF National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, the Forum stated that while it joined Governor El-Rufai and Buhari in consoling those who suffered losses during the latest attack in Kaduna, the president and the governor must also show more empathy and sympathy during such grave security breaches.
President Buhari was in Turkey when the attack was carried out. He returned on Sunday.
Buhari had also received a backlash some days ago when he attended the book launch of APC chieftain and ex-Osun State Governor, Bisi Akande, in Lagos soon after some bandits killed travellers in Sokoto.
The president had at the time sent a delegation on a condolence visit to Sokoto and also to Katsina, where one of Governor Aminu Bello Masari’s commissioners was assassinated in his house.
The ACF described as frustrating “What appears to be an endless orgy of killings in northern Nigeria.” According to the Forum, “Nothing stops the president and a state governor from visiting such places.
“We sadly note that he has never felt it necessary to do so. In fact, following his example, not one governor has done so except Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State.
“There was a similar incident in Uba Askira in Borno, where 10 people were killed and uncountable numbers were taken away. The people affected by these savage attacks are thus left to think that their lives don’t count. The ACF believes the president and the northern governors can do better than this,” it stated.
There was no immediate response from the Northern Governors’ Forum led by Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State. Calls and text messages sent to his Director of Press Affairs, Makut Simon Macham were not responded to as of the time of filing this report.
There was also no response from the Presidency.
However, hours before the statement by the ACF, the northern governors through Lalong said they were happy with the ongoing onslaught by Nigerian Armed Forces against bandits and insurgents terrorising various parts of the country particularly the North East, North Central and North West.
Lalong said in the statement, “We want the operations to be sustained and further coordinated to ensure that the terrorists do not shift their bases after being dislodged from current areas.”
This, he said, will make sure the terrorists were completely subdued and restrained from regrouping for law and order to prevail across the country.
It also condemned the recent attacks by terrorists in various LGAs of Kaduna State, Wase LGA in Plateau, Askira Uba and other LGAs in Borno, in Niger State, among others where innocent citizens were gruesomely murdered and property destroyed.
From Umar Muhammed (Lafia), Lami Sadiq (Kaduna) & Dickson Adama (Jos)
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the figures in the initial headline