By John Mkom
Jalingo—Over 11 persons have been killed and 15,000 others displaced in the herdsmen and farmers’ clash in Bali Local Government Area of Taraba State.
Zaki David-Gbaa, the Chairman of Council of Tiv Traditional Rulers Forum in Taraba, who disclosed this at St. Paul’s Catholic Church’s camp for the Internal Displaced Persons, IDPs, in Bali town, headquarters of Bali Local Government, claimed that 11 farmers had died since the crisis started.
According to him, scores of people injured in the five villages are receiving treatment at the Bali General Hospital.
The local chief said 1,765 people displaced by the crisis were taking refuge in three centres in Bali.
Chief Gbaa said the dispute started among the Tiv and Ichen people of Megoge village in Bali when an Ichen man was reportedly killed by unknown persons in his house.
He said: “The victim’s kinsmen accused the Tiv people of the crime, leading to the fight among the people of Megoge.”
He said he cannot fathom how the herdsmen came into the crises.
David-Gbaa, who conducted newsmen round Tiv Council Hall, IDPs Camp, St. Paul’s Catholic Church IDPs Camp and NKST Church IDPs camp, all in Bali town, disclosed that the people in the camps were passing through untold hardship.
Widow of the Kindred Head of Ikyo village, who was killed alongside his son in the attacks, Mrs. Mwuese Ajia Kyo, said: “The entire village was calm without any crisis among the Tiv and herdsmen until Sunday night, when some herdsmen invaded my husband’s house in the middle of the night with heavy arms.
“My husband and son were slaughtered. I am appealing to the government to take adequate security measures to stop the insecurity problems within our community, because we are farmers and not familiar with arms.”
On his part, Lamido Bakundi, Alhaji Misa Gidado, in whose domain the crisis broke out, told newsmen that series of meetings with stakeholders were on to end the crisis.
Gidado appealed to the state government to deploy more security operatives to the area to restore peace.
…. as police confirm 3 dead in fresh attacks
The Taraba Police Command, yesterday, confirmed the death of three persons in fresh conflict in Bali Local Government.
The command’s spokesman, ASP David Misal, told newsmen in Jalingo that police had deployed additional personnel to Gazabu, Kungana, Tukun Ruwa, Utsua Daa and Kpenkpen villages, where the crisis occurred.
He said: “We received reports that since Sunday, there has being series of attacks in remote communities in Bali Local Government, but the command is on top of the situation.
“Due to the remoteness of the affected areas, we can confirm three deaths for now. But we will get back to you as soon as we get more updates.”