Barely two weeks after militia attack on Fulani communities of Katibu, Baba Gasa, Donada in Lau Local Government Area of Taraba State, the affected communities have decried that they were yet to receive any assistance from the state government.
A Fulani community leader, Muhammad Modibbo Ali, said over 4,000 Fulani displaced by the crisis were yet to get relief materials or assistance from the state government.
“For now, we people of Katibu, Baba Gasa, Dorada are yet to get any assistance from the state government. The government assistance was only sent to the other side, but Fulani communities are excluded.
“In fact, only an NGO, known as Stop Genocide that came to our aid.
“We are calling on the government to take proactive measures to bring to an end, the incessant killings.
“For now over 4,000 people were displaced by the militia attacks and unfortunately we are yet to get any assistance from Taraba state government.
“Up till now, the state government has not commiserated with the affected Fulani communities nor provided relief materials.
“We hear that relief materials were provided to only non-Fulani communities.
“This is unfortunate, and we urge government to treat us as equal. We are all citizens. The governor had earlier deployed more security and provided relief assistance to our brothers the Yandang communities.”
But in a swift reaction, the state governor, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Bala Dan Abu, denied the allegations, saying that “Fulani people were not displaced’’.
“Let me first ask you: Do you know where the Fulani displaced people are? Donada and Abbare are not Fulani places. Where are they (Fulani) displaced people? Because, I don’t know where these Fulani are presently camped.
“Is only when you know where they are, then you will start saying that they were not given relief materials, I don’t know whether Fulani people are displaced. If they were displaced where are they?’’ Mr Dan Abu challenges.
However in his submission, the Senior Special Assistant to the state Governor on Public Affairs, Emmanuel Bello said that equal treatment was accorded to all sides.
“It cannot be even possible to do preferential treatment because the distribution was not restricted to any particular group; the relief came in three phases including Presidential Initiatives is being delivered to community leaders not individuals.
“Representatives of these communities, local officials are part of the distribution committee and I don’t believe that people will be short-changed,” said Mr Bello.