45 Farmers Killed, 5,000 Displaced In Nasarawa State

Farmers Killed

Forty-five people have been killed and 27 injured following renewed hostility between farmers and herders in Lafia, Obi and Awe local government areas of Nasarawa State. 

Akelicious gathered that the first attack, which started on Friday morning, continued up till Sunday night.

A source said at least 5, 000 farmers across 12 communities have been displaced as a result of the attacks in the three local government areas.

Sources and authorities said some of those who sustained injuries were currently receiving treatment at hospitals in Obi, Lafia and Awe local government areas. 

‘It’s reprisal’

Some sources in the affected communities said the attacks between herders and farmers had been going on for some days.

Speaking on the development, the Police Public Relations Officer, Nasarawa State Command, ASP Ramhan Nansel, said a complaint was made on Friday that one Umaru Idrisu of Gidan Washi village in Obi LGA was attacked and killed by unknown armed men.

He said after receiving the complaint, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Adesina Soyemi immediately directed the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Obi LGA to move to the scene where the corpse was recovered and later taken to the hospital for postmortem before it was released to the family for burial according to Islamic rites. 

His words: “While the investigation was ongoing, a suspected reprisal attack was carried out by unknown persons in Hangara village, Lafia East Development Area in Lafia LGA and crossed over to the neighbouring Kwayero village of Obi LGA.

The following persons namely; Sani Dauda, Danjuma Liambee, Uloho Jerry, Shedrack Kente, Boniface John, Tersoo Clement, Gwanje Soja and Ayuba Ali were attacked and killed; their corpses were recovered and taken to the hospital by the Police.

“A joint team of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the military has been mobilised to the affected areas to restore peace and possible arrest of the perpetrators of the dastardly act,” he said.

Our correspondent recalls that gunmen had last month invaded the Ashige community in Lafia LGA where two Fulani herdsmen were shot dead, which led to a riot before calmness was restored to the community by security operatives.

Speaking on the latest development, the Nasarawa State President of Tiv Development Association (TID), Mr Peter Ahemba, who spoke to our correspondent, said that over twenty corpses of his kinsmen were recovered across the twelve affected communities in the three local government areas of the state.

These included Chabo, Daar, Tse-Udugh, Ayaakeke, Kyor-Chiha, Usual, Hagher, Joor, Angwan, Ayaba, Tyungu and Ugba.

“Over 5,000 persons have been displaced and are taking refuge in Obi and Agwatashi towns while some of them have relocated to their relatives in Lafia Local Government Area of the state.”

“Many are still missing in the bush and we don’t know whether they are alive or dead,” he expressed worry. Tiv people did not do anything that would warrant this attack,” he said.

He called on both the state and the federal governments to deploy security operatives to the affected areas to restore law and order.

However, Governor Abdullahi Sule yesterday said his administration had launched a manhunt of the killers of Fulani herder and Tiv farmers in the state at the weekend.

Sule, who said this during a meeting with the heads of security agencies, traditional rulers and Tiv and Fulani community leaders in Obi Local Government Area of the state, said that his administration would protect the life and property of citizens in the state.

According to him, the meeting was in response and part of sustained efforts to avert persistence violence in Obi, Awe and Lafia local government areas.

He said, “There was needless loss of lives of our citizens. Such act of violence is most unfortunate, condemnable, and unacceptable and will not be condoned by this administration.

“I am admonishing you all to live in peace with one another and to shun mischief makers looking for opportunities to cause mayhem,” he said.

The governor also told community leaders to avoid making spurious claims to give wrong impression within and outside the state.

“Relief materials will be sent to displaced persons and government will work with all stakeholders to ensure that they return to their communities and businesses as soon as possible,” he said.

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