By Marie-Therese Nanlong, JOS

Accusations and counter-accusations have continued to fly following the Friday morning killings in Te’egbe village, Miango district, Irigwe Chiefdom, Bassa Local Government area of Plateau State, where no fewer than 10 people, including children and the aged, were killed.

The Irigwe Development Association, IDA, pointed accusing fingers at Fulani militia, saying it was a continuation of their ethnic cleansing agenda.

However, reacting swiftly, Miyyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, described the Irigwe accusation as the fruit of hatred.

The herders’ group said IDA should allow security agents do their job.

READ ALSO: 10 killed, 30 houses burnt as armed men invade Plateau community

‘This is ethnic cleansing’

The IDA, in a statement by Davidson Malison, its National Publicity Secretary, said: “Te’egbe village was attacked by Fulani militia at about 1a.m. today, Friday.

“No fewer than 10 persons were killed and several houses as well as food grains were burnt down, while others sustained varying degrees of injuries.

“It is quite a sad development to the entire Rigwe nation that the marauders have continued the perpetration of their evils against the innocent Rigwe people.

“Just this week Tuesday, November 23, they ambushed and killed two persons at Ancha village of the same district and now a devastating one today.

“Nothing short of ethnic cleansing could this be regarded as.”

The dead

Those killed were identified as Gara Kuh, 80 years old; Mweri Chogo, 85; Friday Musa, 45; Daniel Mariah, 46; Tala Gara, 68; Wiye Gara, 67; Yoh Bala, 4; Rikwe, 65; Tabitha, 6, and Sibi Danlami, 4.

MACBAN

But the Plateau State leadership of Miyyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, has refuted the claim that Fulani herdsmen carried out the Irigwe attack, saying such claim reveals “hatred against the herders.”

Muhammad Abdullahi, State Chairman of MACBAN, in a statement, said: “It has just come to our notice that an unfortunate attack was meted on the local community of Te’egbe village.

“We sympathise with family members of those that lost their lives, and also seek Allah healing of those injured.

“As we condemn and abhor the attack and subsequent killings of innocent persons, we however reject and also condemned in strong terms the allegation labelled against our people, by the Publicity Secretary of the Irigwe Development Association, Davidson Malison.

“It is our firm believe that making such allegation against the Fulani was nothing but mere hatred against the herders.

“We also say the allegation was falsehood. The Irigwe people should have allowed the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the attack before jumping to conclusions based on perceptions.

“We see such action of the Irigwe spokesman as attempt at discouraging security agencies work towards apprehending the perpetrators.”

Meanwhile, the State Governor, Simon Lalong, has expressed anger over the development.

In a statement by Dr. Makut Macham, his Director of Press and Public Affairs, the governor said it was “the handiwork of criminals that are bent on instilling fear, pain and sorrow among the people.

“This is with a view to destabilising the state and making fortune from their criminality as well as rupturing the substantial peace attained.”

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