EMMNUEL AWARI, -Jalingo
Not fewer than five persons were killed while three others have been hospitalised following renewed attacks between the Jukun and the Tiv in Wukari local government area of Taraba state, Daily Champion gathered.
This latest attack is coming barely four days after the Deputy Governors of Taraba and Benue states met in Wukari and issued a communiqué for the resolution of the two -week old crisis.
Chairman of Wukari LGA, Hon. Daniel Adi told Daily Champion that four persons were still missing and several houses were burnt in an attack at the outskirts of Wukari on Friday morning.
Local residents who spoke to our correspondent said there was an attack on Ikyaior village (a Tiv community) by suspected Jukun militia which led to the reprisal on a village near Wukari on Friday morning.
Meanwhile, the Caretaker Chairman of Wukari local government Council, Hon. Daniel Adi has called for the immediate withdrawal of the Special Forces deployed to the area for sparking off renewed attacks in the area.
In a telephone interview, Adi said personnel of the Special Forces deployed to the area had on Wednesday killed over 80 cows belonging to the Fulani herdsmen at Bongo village near Kente which led to the attack on Ikyaior village on Thursday night.
On why the Fulani herdsmen decided to attack Ikyaior village which is far away from Bongo, Adi said the Fulanis knew that it was the Special Forces that killed their cows but he can’t tell why they decided to attack Ikyaior.
“We held meeting after the peace meeting with the Deputy Governors of Taraba and Benue we called on our Tiv brothers to return and many of them have returned to Wukari. It was the killing of the Fulani cows by the Special forces that led to these attacks.
“Since the attack on the Special Forces by the Fulanis which led to the killing of two soldiers last month, the Special forces don’t want to see Fulani cows again.
“I actually don’t know what led to the killing of the cows, but for whatever reason, the Special Forces should follow the path of dialogue. We want peace, but the Special Forces are becoming problem to us now, so they should leave,” he said.
Efforts to the get the reaction of the Army Commanding Officer of Ada Barracks Takum to react to the allegation failed as his mobile phone line was switched off at the time of sending this report.
In a related development, the Parish Priest of All Saint Pastoral Area, Ikyaior, Rev. Fr. Livinus Orji, has decried the looting of the church property by Jukun youth who he said attacked Ikyaior on Friday.
Orji told Daily Champion that he personally met the youths who carried some of the church’s property and his personal belongings into Wukari and pleaded with them to give him the items but they refused, saying it was their share of the loot in the crisis.
“I saw some of them coming into Wukari from Ikyaior around the General Hospital with my Gas cooker, AC, dining chairs, mattresses, doors and so many other things they carried from the Parish house and I pleaded with them to give me my property but they refused.
“I told them I am a priest and the crisis was not a religious crisis neither am I a Tiv man, but they ignored me. I want to call on the government to quickly intervene and bring an end to this crisis.
“The Parish is grounded now and cannot function; so, I want to call on government to support us to recover our lost property ,”he said.
A former Special Adviser to the Governor, Hon. Orbee Uchiv, who hailed from Ikyaior told our correspondent that over 100 houses were either burnt or vandalised in Ikyaior.
According to him, 50 computers from his school were carted away and the entire school blocks razed by the attackers who invaded the village from Wukari.
When contacted Police Public Relations Officer, DSP. David Misal, confirmed the attack but said he was not aware of casualty figures, saying he was waiting for briefing from the DPO of Wukari.
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