by Chidinma Okere
In the wake of the violence in Taraba, between the Fulani and Mambillia tribe, which have claimed 18 lives, mostly Fulanis, many have criticized and blamed Gov. Darius Ishaku for sponsoring the carnage, an allegation he vehemently denies. He reiterates that those who blame him for sponsoring the killings in Taraba are grossly uninformed, therefore are instigating damaging rumour to discredit his governance in Taraba. He goes further to condemn violence of any form, against a people.
According to reports, his accusers say Ishaku through a secret broadcast instigated the genocide when he allegedly announces that a certain ethnic group should be wiped out of Taraba. This then led to a series of coordinated attacks of several Fulani communities.
However the spokesperson for Gov. Ishaku, in the person of Emmanuel Bello, in a counter response asks that evidence proving, Ishaku involvement in the violence be produced.
Bello goes further to say ” In Taraba state, all human lives are precious to us, that is why Governor Ishaku for peace. That’s why even his mantra, he says: “give me peace and I will give you development”; he is too refined, too peace loving to engage in any kind of bloodletting or encourage such. The governor is a very civilized man of the world, who has interacted with various segments.”
Acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, has condemned the ethnic killings in some communities in Taraba state. He commiserated with affected perons and communities while strongly condemning the acts of violence.
In a statement by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande, Acting President Osinbajo has ordered the deployment of an extra military battalion, police reinforcements and also a deployment of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to the affected areas.
The statement also says that“… the Acting President has ordered the provision of relief materials to be delivered to the affected communities in Toffi, Mayo Daga, Mayo Sina, Tamiya, Kwara-Kwara, Tungan Lugere, Timjire, Nguroje and other villages in the hinterlands of Mambilla Plateau,”
A press statement released by Fulani elders in Jalingo, Taraba State on Wednesday, said that hundreds of Fulani villages on the Mambilla Plateau were raided by members of the Mambilla tribe on the orders of Sardauna LGA Chairman John Yep.
The elders said that Mr. Yep ordered a militia to kill Fulani people following the arrest of Umaru Cid, a ringleader of the Mambilla militia in Nguroje, over a land dispute.
They alleged that Mr. Yep then broadcasted a radio message throughout Taraba State instigating violence against the Fulani.
“What followed thereafter was a coordinated and simultaneous attack on over 300 Fulani communities,” they said.
According to the elders, the killing has been ongoing for four days now, with over 130 Fulani persons missing. They added that 4,000 of their cows had been either slaughtered or stolen.