20180111

AGAIN? 55 Feared Killed By Fulani Herdsmen In Taraba

A gang of rampaging Fulani herdsmen have extended their hostilities to Taraba State, killing 55 people in Lau local government area. At least two hundred homes, including food stuff, have been reportedly destroyed.

The situation is so bad that some people are still missing.

It was gathered that the invasion and attacks began at the weekend.

According to The Nation, 25 bodies were recovered and given a mass burial on Tuesday when journalists and a media assistant to the governor, Bala Dan Abu, visited the affected area.

The burial was done, hurriedly, by the youth, as policemen and soldiers cordoned the area. There were tears and anger, amid trepidation.

Bala Dan Abu said he couldn’t fight back tears. “You know, I don’t like witnessing a funeral, what more, a mass burial like this,” he said.

The affected area, deserted, looked like a ghost town. Policemen and soldiers were patrolling the area.

Those buried were mostly children, women and aged-persons. Most of the corpses were recovered from burnt houses, bush paths and nearby farmlands. The corpses had swollen, fouling the air.

Sources said some of the victims tried to escape from the marauders, but were hacked down by another set of herdsmen who ambushed them in large numbers.

The invaders used mostly “sophisticated guns and poisoned knives” to carry out the massacre, described by many as “genocide.”

Those who survived the herdsmen’s bullets are now taking refuge in a settlement called Abari. The bereaved lamented their deals and harrowing experiences when journalists visited the internally displaced persons (IDPs).

“Herdsmen are killing people in Lau, my State,” Governor Darius Ishaku told The Nation on telephone Tuesday night.

Ishaku had attributed the invasion, attacks and killings by Fulani herdsmen in some parts of the country, as a “drive for territorial control.” He blamed the elites for masterminding the violence for their political and economic interests. He asked Nigerians to pray for the country.

The Taraba State Police Command yesterday confirmed the killings to our correspondent. Police spokesman, David Misal, said the situation is calm now.

Misal, who earlier reported the casualty figures as 12, when the attack began, said “enough security personnel have been deployed to the area. What we are doing now is to build confidence in the people.”

The attack and killings in Lau is the latest act of unprovoked aggression against communities in Taraba State by Fulani herdsmen.