Nasarawa: Bassa militia invade Toto LGA, displace communities

Linus Oota , Lafia Unidentified gunmen suspected to be Bassa militias are reported to have launched a fresh attack on

Linus Oota , Lafia

Unidentified gunmen suspected to be Bassa militias are reported to have launched a fresh attack on Umaisha, the headquarters of Opanda chiefdom in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, burning down the entire communities.

The invaded communities include: Kolo, Kuwa, Kokoto, Kanyehu, Dausu, Ogba, Ugya, Katakpa, and Umaisha villages. The resident villagers have been displaced as a result of the attacks.

This was disclosed to journalists at a press briefing in Lafia by the national president and national secretary of Egbura National Development Association (ENDA), Prof Ibrahim Aguye and Prof Yusuf Aboki, respectively.

The latest onslaught on the Ebgura town occurred on Friday, May 18, in a daylight attack shortly after the Egburas commenced Friday prayers.

“Apart from Ugya, which has experienced alleged sustained attacks by Bassas, surrounding villages such as Kolo, Katakpa and Ogba have also come under attacks on different days, as well as many other Egbura communities in Toto LGA, which are still experiencing guerrilla style attacks, while lives as well as property are being lost as a result,” the Egbura stated.

“We are constrained to give the concerned authorities some promising leads that would prove useful on the timeline of their campaigns of carnage and terror which has seen them raiding various Egbura communities of Toto LGA,” they added.

The ENDA leadership called on State Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura to go beyond the usual government diplomatic appeal for peaceful coexistence, by unearthing the causes of the ongoing crisis in Toto LGA, adding that the state government must act without holding back to squarely put the blame where it belongs.

“The state government should unmask the masquerades behind the latest crisis, which we have every reason to believe has political undertones. It should also act to bring those who are hellbent on rubbishing the uncommon feats achieved by the Nasarawa government through ignition of crisis in flash points across the state as we approach the 2019 General Elections,” ENDA appealed.

The ENDA leaders petitioned the Governor to reverse the provocative decision of Bassas to indiscriminately settle in Ugya irrespective of where they were before 1997 crisis. They also called on Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to probe the intractable crisis between the affected ethnic groups in Bassa LGA with a view to bringing the culprits, who have made peace in the area impossible, to book.

They further appealed to Bello to facilitate the return of all the Egbura Internally Displaced Persons from the communities of Ogbonka, Ogbaozanyi, Ozugbe, Ahutara, Okanga and Ibiroko Egbura communities, all under Mozum Chiefdom of Bassa LGA of Kogi State, who are currently displaced to Umaisha and surrounding communities in Nasarawa State, as well as Lokoja and surrounding communities in Kogi State, back to their ancestral homelands.

They called on both the Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to come to the aid of the people displaced from their ancestral homes and camped at Umaisha and its environs.

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BREAKING: Military to launch Operation LAST HOLD in northern Borno

Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri A special excercise tagged Operation LAST HOLD, aimed at completely liberating the northern Borno from remnant of

Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri

A special excercise tagged Operation LAST HOLD, aimed at completely liberating the northern Borno from remnant of Boko Haram, and return displaced persons to their homes and farmlands, is in the offing, according to Theatre Commander, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Maj. Gen. Rogers Nicholas said.

Nearly all 10 local governments in northern Borno had been sacked by Boko Haram terrorists since late 2014, as thousands of people fled to Maiduguri, the state capital, for refuge.

“We are conducting a special exercise called Operation LAST HOLD in northern Borno. It is to restore hope in the northern part of Borno, especially in Malam Fatori, Cross Kowa, Gulumbali and others. We are going to do clearance of the area and hold the area, be with the people. We’re going to follow the people to their farms, stay with them even on their farms,” Nicholas told journalists at the Command Headquarters in Maiduguri while receiving seven repentant Boko Haram members, including Amri  (leader) on Friday.

He said the Chief of Army Staff will soon flag off farming activities in northern Borno, with soldiers being directly involved.

He said that repentant Boko Harm members willingly decided to surrender themselves at Kumshe area, as he called on others to follow.

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Suspected Fulani herdsmen kill 32 villagers in Nasarawa

Linus Oota, Lafia Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have again murdered over 32 Tiv villagers at different locations across

Linus Oota, Lafia

Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have again murdered over 32 Tiv villagers at different locations across the southern senatorial district of Nasarawa State in a series of well coordinated attacks.

The attackers are said to have carried out the attacks on the Tiv villages simultaneously across Awe, Keana, Obi and Doma LGAs of the north central state, leaving 19 others with severe gun and machete injuries.

As at the time of filing this report, over 10,000 Tiv villagers were said to be trapped along the Agwatashi-Jangwa road axis in Obi LGAs shortly after the marauding herdsmen sacked over 200 villages, including Uvirkaa, hometown of a serving Commissioner for Water Resources in the state, Barr. Gabriel Akaaka.

Our correspondent, going round some of the affected areas, gathered that about 15,000 fleeing Tiv villagers were stranded in streets of Lafia, the state capital.

Already, over 100,000 of them are taking refuge in different Internally Displaced Persons camps at Agwatashi, Aloshi, Awe, Adudu, Obi, Keana, Doma, Agyaragu, among other locations.

At the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH) in Lafia, where 8 victims are currently receiving treatment as a result of injuries sustained from the attacks, 5 corpses from the attack are interned at the morgue, 3 were later released by the police for burial.

Confirming the development to newsmen in Lafia, President Tiv Youth Organization Nasarawa State chapter, Peter Ahemba, said entire Tiv villages in the southern part of the state have been sacked, noting that most of the affected villages are being occupied by the invaders.

According to him “As I speak to you, 9 corpses of our people killed this morning by the Fulani terrorists in Wurji village of Keana LGA have just been recovered and brought to Keana town by the police.

“Last night, 7 of our people were killed in the coordinated attacks, with 11 others still missing at Kertyo and Apurugh villages in Obi Local Government.

“Last Saturday, we recorded 8 deaths from similar attacks in Kadarko area, four from Aloshi axis, one person from Agberagba, all in Keana LGA. Another six persons were shot at Imon village and were rushed to Obi General Hospital, as a result of which one of them later died. This is just few out of deaths we recorded within the last three days as a result of these senseless attacks,” the youth leader said.

Ahemba, reporting that the armed herdsmen were conveyed in trucks and brought into the state to carry out the attacks, said that it was clear that the incessant attacks on the Tiv people was no longer protest against any enacted law but rather a calculated attempt to exterminate the Tiv community of the state.

He appealed to international community to intervene in order to save the state and country from the current bloodbath.

Speaking to our correspondent, the Public Relations Officer of the State Police Command DSP Kennedy Idirisu confirmed the attacks but is yet to ascertain the number of casualties.

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Living conditions in IDPs camps deplorable, unbearable – Ortom

Gov Samuel Ortom has decried the ‘deplorable conditions’ of the camps hosting people displaced by the incessant attacks on Benue

Samuel Ortom

Gov Samuel Ortom has decried the ‘deplorable conditions’ of the camps hosting people displaced by the incessant attacks on Benue rural communities, and called for urgent measures to address the situation.

“The camps are terrible; the living conditions there are nauseating. Something urgent must be done to assist the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs),” Ortom said on Thursday.

Ortom spoke in Makurdi when he received members of the Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation, led by is chairman, Babangda Aliyu, at the Banquet hall of the Benue People’s House, Makurdi.

He said that 60 per cent of the IDPs were children who had missed examinations and did not know when to return to school.

” The facilities at the camps are inadequate and too deplorable to provide minimum comfort for these children.

“The attacks keep going on and more people are fleeing their homes and taking refuge in the camps, making them overcrowded.

“In spite of the presence of “Exercise Cat Race”, herders are still killing and displacing local farmers from their ancestral homes.

“The Benue people are law abiding and have refrained from resorting to violence even at the height of provocation, but we cannot continue like this,” he said.

He called on members of the foundation to appeal to the federal government to pursue justice for his people.

“All we ask of the federal government is justice, the rule of law and an end to impunity. We have suffered too much in the hands of the herders who carry out these attacks against our people with impunity.

” Between 2012 and 2018, we have had 47 attacks on Benue communities. Lives and property worth millions have been lost, but in spite of these attacks, we have remained law abiding.”

He said it was difficult to revive grazing routes, and called on herdsmen in the state to obey the anti-open grazing law.

Also speaking, Ortom’s predecessor and deputy chairman of the foundation, Gabriel Suswam, commended the people for supporting their governor on the law, and assured them that the foundation would relay their message to the government.

He assured Ortom of his support toward achieving peace in the state.

“I will work with Gov Ortom towards achieving peace in the state; our party differences will not affect this commitment.

“It was the Tor Tiv that ordered me to work with the governor to ensure peace in the state. As someone who has received so much from the state, I have to obey.”

Suswam appealed to the federal government to work out modalities toward halting the influx of foreign herders in the country.

“The killings in the country seem to get worse everyday. Government must rise to this challenge,” he said. (NAN)

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