Tension As 60 Killed, Dozens Displaced In Taraba Communities

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The member representing the Ussa State Constituency in the Taraba State House of Assembly, Habila Anderifun, on Saturday, said at least 60 people had been killed and thousands displaced in recent attacks on communities in Ussa, Takum and Yangtu Special Development Area by suspected herdsmen.

Anderifun, who disclosed this at a press conference in Jalingo, said the communities had come under coordinated and sustained attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen who had dislodged thousands of people from their ancestral homes and forced them into Internally Displaced Persons’ camps.

The lawmaker, who likened the invasion and occupation of Ussa land by armed Fulani group and the atrocities being committed, to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the war crimes being committed in Ukraine, decried the killings and mutilation of dead bodies by the attackers.

According to the lawmaker, six soldiers, including the Commanding Officer of Ada Barracks Takum, were killed by the suspected armed Fulani bandits in the area and he wondered why the Federal Government had not deemed it fit to take the war to the armed bandits terrorising the people of the area.

“The situation in Ussa is terribly bad and we would bring out documentary evidence to support our claims at the right time. For now, we want the United Nations, (UN), and the international community to turn their attention to ongoing killings, which can be likened to genocide, in Ussa and parts of Takum and Yangtu, which is capable of wiping the entire people out of the map of Nigeria.

“The killings and mutilation of the bodies of the victims in Ussa constitute a crime against humanity and we urge the federal government to take urgent steps to end these senseless killings because it is the primary responsibility of the government to protect the lives and property of her citizens anywhere in this country.

“We are documenting carefully all that is going on in the area and failure to end the killings we shall not hesitate to take legitimate and lawful means to seek justice for the people of Ussa.

“Reports from these communities indicate that the deserted communities have been taken over by Fulani herdsmen who now graze freely on people’s farms and homes.”

He called on the National Emergency Management Agency, the State Emergency Management Agency and other aid organisations and spirited individuals to intervene in the provision of shelter, protection, water, food and non-food relief items to address the growing humanitarian needs of the IDPs.

This is as he called on the state government to set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the crisis with the view to finding a lasting solution to the conflict.

Anderifun added, “This is very important because the Fulanis and the Kutebs have been living peacefully with each other over the decades until the recent ugly development. This could be the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob,” he said.