Eight people are feared killed, property worth millions of naira destroyed and thousands of people displaced in Bisaula and Gwanda communities following a communal clash between Ichen and Daka people in Kurmi Local Government Area of Taraba State.
Dr Bibinu Ahmed, President, Ichen Cultural and Development Association, told newsmen in Jalingo that four of his people were killed in the melee.
The spoke person of Chamba/Dakka, Mr Kefas Magaji, also confirmed that one person was killed in Bisaula and three at Gwanda.
Daily Trust gathered that trouble started in December when Ndaka people made attempts to install another village head in Bisaula and were resisted by the Ichen people who claim to be the original inhabitants of the area.
Ahmed while briefing newsmen in Jalingo yesterday blamed the state government for the escalation of the conflict.
He alleged that Governor Darius Ishaku had called a meeting on December 28 in Baissa a few days after the first attack on Bisaula and suspended the village head, Umaru Danbaki, who died 19 days after the suspension.
“After the suspension of the village head, the elders forwarded the name of Baba Umaru Gambo for appointment as the new Wakili (an Ichen man), but later the local government chairman sent the name of Mallam Rabiu a Ndola man as the preferred candidate of the governor as Wakili Bisaula,” he said.
Reacting, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Governor Darius Ishaku, Mr Bala Dan-Abu, said the governor serves the interest of all ethnic groups in Taraba State and would not take side on issues affecting two or more ethnic groups.
“Governor Ishaku has worked so hard to bring peace to the state and he can not come down so low to take side with an ethnic group against the other. The Governor is too big for that and would not do things that would undermine him and his office,” he said.