…….Tiv Community Dismisses Reprisals Claim, alleges conspiracy against the Tiv people in the state
By Steven Kefas
No fewer than fifty five Tiv farmers have been reportedly killed in 12 communities across Lafia, Obi, and Awe Local Government Areas of Nasarawa State following 3 days campaign of violence by terrorists suspected to be Fulani herdsmen militias.
The attacks began on Friday, November 17 and extended to Sunday, November 19, a Tiv Community leader, Peter Ahemba told Middle Belt Times on telephone.
“The attacks started around 11am on Friday and went on till Sunday evening across three local government areas in the state
“The attacks were unprovoked and well coordinated across various Tiv communities in the state.
“We have so far recovered 35 bodies while about 20 are still missing and we believe they may also have died of gunshots injuries in the bushes.
“This is why we believe that the death toll is around 45 to 50.” Ahemba said.
The Nasarawa state police command had earlier confirmed the attack but said that seven people were killed during in contradiction of the position of the Tiv development association in the state.
The statement reads, “On 17/12/2021 at about 1140hrs, a complaint was received that one Umaru Idrisu ‘M’ of Gidan Washi Village, Obi LGA was attacked and killed by unknown armed men.
“Upon receipt of the complaints, the Commissioner of Police, CP Adesina Soyemi ordered the Divisional Police Officer, Obi Division to move to the scene where the corpse was removed and taken to the hospital for post mortem examination but later released to the family for burial according to Islamic rites.
“Security has been provided in the village to prevent the breakdown of law and order as an investigation has since commenced to unravel the mystery behind the attack and bring the perpetrators to book.
“While the investigation was ongoing, a suspected reprisal attack was carried out by unknown persons in Hangara village, Lafia East Development Area, Lafia LGA and crossed over to the neighbouring Kwayero Village of Obi LGA and the following persons namely: Sani Dauda, Danjuma Liambee, Uloho Jerry, Shedrack Kente, Tersoo Clement, Gwanje Soja and Ayuba Ali were attacked and killed; their corpses were recovered and taken to the hospital by the Police.
“In view of the foregoing, the Commissioner of Police, CP Adesina Soyemi has moved to the scene of the incidents, contacted and held meetings with critical stakeholders in the various communities and urged them to suspend further hostilities and live in peace and assured them that a comprehensive investigation is ongoing, as the perpetrators of the act will not go unpunished”. He said.
The Tiv Development Association in Nasarawa state has dismissed the claim that the attacks were reprisals saying that the dead body of the Fulani man found could have been killed by anyone since it was found on the road side.
Chief Clement Ibo, the paramount ruler of the Tiv people in Nasarawa state told Middle Belt Times that the killings that befell the Tiv community over the weekend cannot be said to be reprisals. He said he suspects a conspiracy against the Tiv people in the state.
“How can they say it was reprisals, this seems to me a pure conspiracy against the Tiv people.
“Even the dead body of the Fulani man they claimed was killed, there was no injury on him, therefore he could have collapsed or anything could have happened to him leading to his death.
“Come to think of it, if it was truly a reprisal as claimed, why didn’t it stop at the community where the man was found dead, why did it spread to other Tiv communities in other local government areas”? Ibo asked.
The Nasarawa state government on Monday convened a security meeting with the affected communities in an effort to prevent further excalation of violence in the area.