Headers attack: communities in Nasarawa cry out as 38 killed received mass burial

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By David Okpashi

More than four Communities attacked by suspected herders have cried out for rescue, as the residents are alleges being under sieged.

This is even as mass burial for over 38 killed at the wake of the attack on Communities of Gwanja, Angwan Bege, Angwan Madaki and Gidan Allah, dominated by Gwandara, Mada and Yeskwa tribes was conducted on saturday

The thirty eight (38) people given mass burial were mostly women and children killed by the suspected herdsmen in Takalafia and Gwanja rural communities of Karu local government council of Nasarawa state

The Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, who led government delegation to witness the mass burial, condemned what he described as senseless killing and the wanton destruction of property estimated at millions of naira.

The deputy governor who expressed shock over the level of destructions and killings, said government was amazed with the situation at the time it was doing everything to ensure the reign of peace in the state.

“Government will connot continued to fold its arms and watch the lives of innocent people being cut short. Government will not leave any stone unturned to get to the causes of the attacks and bring the perpetrators to book where the law will be allowed to take it cause”.

Akabe however assured that the state government will provide relief materials to the displaced victims as he also encouraged the communities to give credible information to the relevant authorities to fish out those behind the crisis..

It would be recalled that the Pastor in-charge of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Rev. Daniel Danbeki and others, were gruesomely murdered by the suspected killers during the attack last Thursday night into the early hours of Friday May 12.

Chairman, Karu Local Government Area, James Thomas, who visited the affected communities prior to the mass burial also condemned the attack

Represented by his Deputy, Lawal Yakubu Karshi, appealed for calm and also vowed to ensure that the perpetrators were arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.

A source close to the communities who pleaded anonimity informed our correspondent that the attack was as a result of disagreement between the farmers and herdsmen who grazed on the farm land of the local allegedly destroying crops (groundnut and maize) belonging to the farmers in the area.

According to the source, “disagreement ensued when the farmers approached the suspected Fulanis to take their animals out of the farm land when one of the suspected herders brought out his cutlass and started fighting the farmers, .

He claimed that the farmer overpowered the Fulani snatched his cutlass and fought back leading to death of the Fulani instantly.

It was further gathered that the incident occured in Gwanja community, near Takalafiya, two weeks ago and the authority of Karu local government area intervened and the matter was settled amicably, only for the suspected herders to regroup and attacked Gwanja community, killing four last Thursday, 11th May, 2023.

Another source from the community, claimed that the herdsmen on discovering that some residents of Gwanja community fled to Takalafiya, the herders allegedly launched another attack on the community and killed more people on Friday, 12th May, 2023.

“In the early hours of Friday, around 4am, the people of the community were thrown into panic when they discovered strange dog roaming the streets of Takalafiya, with huge charms round its neck, they community mobilized and killed the dog”

“After they succeeded in killing the dog, as they clustered around the dog wondering where it came from, the herdsmen started shooting sporadically around the community that led to the killing of several people” the source said.

As at the time of filling this report, it was gathered that no fewer than 11 dead bodies were brought in from Takalafiya and other communities and are now deposited at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Keffi, with many others still still missing.

Efforts to obtain the police report on the killings could not hold waters as the Public Relations Officer of the police Command in the state, DSP Nansel Ramham could not respond to calls or text messages.

Meanwhile, the state police Command has has confirmed the incident saying that at that about 2200hrs, information was received that one Jibo Alhaji Ali, 18yrs and Fulani by tribe was attacked by unidentified persons while on his way to kwaja village, Gitata.

The police Command in a statement by its public Relations Officer DSP Ramham Nansel explained that Upon receipt of the information, Police operatives attached to Gitata Division raced to the scene and rushed the victim with machete cut on his head to Na-Allah private hospital, Gitata where he died while receiving treatment.

“Sequel to the above, information was received that Tarkalafia and Kwaja village were attacked.

Reacting to the above, the Commissioner of Police, CP Maiyaki Baba, deployed police operatives comprising of mobile police personnel, counter terrorism unit, and the military to the area where fourteen corpses were recovered and taken to the hospital and subsequently buried.

The Commissioner of Police hereby condolled with all those who lost their loved ones and ordered discreet investigation to unravel the faces behind the attack, assuring that anyone found culpable will be dealt with according to provisions of the law.

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