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Sunday, 4 February 2018

Over 2,000 reportedly flee Taraba as residents bury suspected herdsmen’s victims

Hundreds of people have reportedly continued to flee Taraba villages, following attacks on some communities in the Gassol, Ibi and Wukari local government areas by suspected herdsmen and a reported planned attack on the state as alleged by Governor Darius Ishaku on Wednesday, January 31.

Punch reports that five people were killed at Amande Jembe village in Bantaje district of the Wukari LGA and four others were killed in Ngutswen village, Gassol LGA, barely nine hours after Ishaku raised the alarm over the planned attacks.

Most of the affected villages were reportedly deserted as villagers fled their communities to Sabon Gida, Dan-Anacha and Mutum Biyu in Gassol, and Gidin Doruwa and Wukari in the Wukari LGA.

Simon Tyavwua, a resident who allegedly buried four of his relatives in Ngutswen village, told Punch correspondents that over 2,000 people, mostly Tiv, who were marked for attack, had moved to neighbouring Sabon Gida to take refuge.

He said: "Over 70 major villages housing over 2,000 people from Sabon Gida to Wurojam and Yerima to Gassol have been deserted. Most of these people are now living in internally displaced people's camps in their land.

"These attacks get worse by the day, despite the alarm (raised) by the governor. There is not a single security personnel here."

However, the senior special assistant to Governor Ishaku on public affairs, Emmanuel Bello, said that some soldiers were currently deployed to the state it was not clear if the presence of the military in the state was a direct response to the governor's security alert.

"It is good that we are getting a better response from the military. This is a departure from the criminal silence and snobbishness of the past," Bello said.

The police public relations officer in the state, David Missal, said that though there was no deployment of special forces to the state after the governor's alarm, the police officers in the state were already on the alert.

He said: "We are on the ground and have taken proactive measures to forestall any attack. For now, the situation in the state is calm."
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