A militia group identified as Mambilla Militia has continued to attack Fulani settlements on Mambilla Plateau, Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State, residents said.
DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that 20 people have been killed, just as 300 cattle were rustled in the wake of the crisis.
A fleeing resident Saadu Mogoggo whose house was attacked at Leme suburb of Gembu, said two of his younger brothers were killed on Saturday evening and their cattle were rustled by the militia.
“As I am talking to you, we are yet to bury their corpses. The ethnic militia attacked our resident in Leme where they killed our father last month. During this attack the Mambillas carted away over hundred cows.
“My two younger brothers reported the matter to a nearby military base and a soldier was attached to them to retrieve the stolen cows.
“Unfortunately, in the process my younger brothers were killed while the soldier fled with injury,” he said.
Another resident, Abdu Gagarau, said, “The burning and killing of the Fulanis continued till early this morning. They have been attacking our settlements since Thursday and over 20 people have been killed.
“The Mambila ethnic group are known for attacking other tribes. They attacked the Pansos in 1982, the Fulanis in 2002 and in 2017, when eventually we retaliate then the normal shouts of herdsmen started. Let government be proactive, and come to our plight,’’ he said.
Also confirming the development a community leader in the area, Ahmadu Nguroje, said 20 people have been killed in the attacks.
“At least 20 people are killed; looting of houses, shops and arson continued by the Mambilla militias along Tapare and Yerimaru axis in Sardauna LGA of Taraba State.
“About 12 other people were wounded and are on admission at a hospital in Gembu,” said he.
When contacted member representing Nguroje/Gembu constituency in the state House of Assembly, Bashir Muhammad, confirmed that “there have been silent but systematic killings of Fulani herdsmen in the remote areas in Mambilla Plateau.
“It’s unfortunate that while efforts are being made to restore peace, the killings continued unabated and many people have been killed between Thursday and Sunday, just as dozens of livestock were killed and maimed. I was even told that over 300 cows were rustled.
“The security is grossly inadequate, because some of the affected villages are remote such that it takes one or two hours to be reached.
“We want presence of more security particularly soldiers to ensure peace,’’ the lawmaker pleads.
Gov. Darius Ishaku, Police react
Reacting to the attacks, the state governor Darius Ishaku ,who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Emmanuel Bello, warns that, “Anyone who takes any life irrespective of religion or tribe is a criminal whether it is on the summits of Mambilla or the plains of southern Taraba and anywhere in this state. And we shall deal with them as criminals!”
He noted that the governor “was committed to an amicable resolution of the crisis in the state and peaceful co-existence of all ethnic nationalities,’’ attributing that renewed crisis erupted due to what he called ‘’ disagreement between two ethnic groups.’’
The police spokesman, Taraba Command, David Misal, told our reporter four people were confirmed killed from both sides, and adequate security men were dispatched to the area to restore peace,
Mr Misal, an assistant superintendent of police, added that no arrest was made.
Investigations revealed that the crisis started on Thursday over a land dispute between Fulani and Mambilla in Yerimaru village and later snowballed into neighbouring villages.