Attack on our Community not communal clash, but bandits–Bassa alleges ***Calls for urgent resettlement of displaced people in Nasarawa

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By David Okpashi

THE Bassa community recently attacked in Okudu, Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State have denied reports that the attack which claimed more than seven lives with several houses burnt in the community was a communal clash, but a coordinated attack by some faceless militants.

The Bassa Cultural and Development Association State Chairman, Emmanuel Gbaji in a statement signed and made available to Journalists in Lafia Thursday claimed that the militants who resurfaced are currently taking refuge in Toto forests to further unlease terror and accomplish their devilish mission aimed at eliminating the residents who are largely agrarian community.

“After over seven (7) circle of crisis lasting thirty eight (38) years, with each circle involving a colossal loss of lives, destruction of property and displacement of persons, we have not seen peace and have become refugees in our land”.

“The Government of Nasarawa State in 2019, created a legal resolution machinery to allow the warring communities to peacefully resolve their dispute andNasarawa discussion have commenced, disputes are being examined and reexamined in an atmosphere of brotherly dialogue only for our people to come under another heavy attack last week”..

“Out of the blue, the grapevine was abuzz with news of faceless militants hiding in our bushes and forests. While security agencies were monitoring the situation, we were awakened by the sound of murderous gunfire at Okudu. This is undoubtedly the handiwork of the well known and well advertised opponents of the ongoing peace talks,” the statement said.

The statement while assuring the people and governments of their resolve to remain committed to peace in the area, the cultural group called on the state government to expedite action for the speedy resettlement of their people.

“We call on His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr. Abdullahi Sule to continue to provide the necessary ambience for the ongoing peace talks. We must not be distracted from our numerous calls for speedy resettlement of displaced persons”.

“The current displacement of the Bassa community has created large swaths of uninhibited and ungoverned space. This has allowed criminals, bandits, kidnappers and murderous groups to hide in our empty forest and villages.

“The resettlement of the Bassa community will deny these criminals the space to carry out their nefurious and beastly murders that took place at Okudu”, the statement said.

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