Following a recent bombardment of individuals thought to be herders on the border of Benue and Nasarawa States, it has been claimed that suspected Fulani herdsmen have exacted revenge on Tiv communities in Nasarawa State.
This follows comments by the deposed Emir Sanusi concerning the killings in which he had earlier alleged that the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom was responsible for the alleged airstrike in Rukubi, a village on the border between Nasarawa and Benue States which left 56 persons dead with others injured.
Emir Sanusi said “All the air strikes that took place in Nasarawa were masterminded from Makurdi. We must hold him responsible since we know his position against Fulani. It’s only an investigation that will avail him of the allegations. Why won’t t there be an investigation to reveal who masterminded the bombardment? And who gives orders to the Air force to always launch these airstrikes?
However, the Tiv community of Nasarawa State claimed yesterday that suspected armed herdsmen were continuing to attack and murder innocent Tiv people in the southern portion of the state as retaliation for the recent bombing.
Mr Peter Ahemba, president of the Tiv Development Association (TIDA) in Nasarawa State, raised the alarm yesterday in a press conference in Lafia. As a result, he urged the federal and state governments to take immediate action to put an end to the ongoing attacks and killings.
He further said that heavily armed herdsmen had singled out and attacked the Tiv people, highlighting the fact that numerous innocent Tiv farmers had already been killed and driven from their homes in the state’s Doma, Keana, and Obi Local Government Areas.
Ahemba emphasized that the intelligence report available to the TIDA leadership showed that the heavily armed herders were preparing to launch more lethal attacks on Tiv settlements throughout the state’s southern zone, as well as portions of the Kokona and Nasarawa Local Government Areas, in order to ensure the complete annihilation of the Tiv nation in the state.
“Thousands of our people have been displaced from across Doma, Keana, and Obi LGAs of the state and armed herders have massacred scores of our people in the previous few days.”
“Chabo village has been devastated to nothing but ashes. As the entire Tiv community in Doma has been forced to flee their homes and numerous others are being slain in isolated communities, a fatal attack was launched on Ajo village in Keana LGA, according to the TIDA President.
The Tiv people of the state were unaware of the recent airstrike that was being used as justification for the widespread killings of the Tiv farmers and destruction of their property, he said, describing the attacks on them as barbaric.
“We request assistance from the federal and state governments, who should provide sufficient security personnel to our communities in the impacted LGAs. All escape routes are still blocked by the herders, who are currently killing our people like animals, according to Ahemba.
Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue State, has referred to accusations linking his administration to the deaths caused by an airstrike on a community in Nasarawa State as malicious.
The governor claimed that neither he nor his administration were involved in the terrible event.
He insisted that he did not give anyone the command to commit the deed and that he lacked the authority to direct the air raid operation which resulted in the killings
The governor said it was sheer mischief for someone to try and tie him into something he had no knowledge of and questioned why he would be associated with the occurrence.