Posted by Rose Ejembi, Makurdi, Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo | 3 May 2019 | 575 times
At least, 200 people have allegedly been confirmed killed with property worth hundreds of millions of Naira destroyed following attacks on Benue communities by suspected Jukun militia in the crisis that rocked areas on the Benue and Taraba states border recently.
Council Chairman of Ukum local government area, Ibellogo Tor-Ityokaa, who disclosed this during a world press conference he addressed in Zaki-Biam on Thursday gave the names of the villages worst hit by the attacks as Tse- Ayali, Igbongom, Tse-Ayali and Tse -Atsenga, Vaase, Namtaav and New City.
He accused his Wukari Local government counterpart of aiding the Jukun militia to launch mayhem on Tiv settlements, while expressing worries that after concerted peace efforts by his council and the Benue State government, an alleged non-collaborative stance of his Wukari counterpart was fast worsening the situation.
The Ukum council boss further alleged that more villages were still been attacked by the militia and their herdsmen collaborators up till now.
Ibellogo who also attributed the cause of the crisis to politics, said from available intelligence report, the Tiv in Taraba were being molested for their refusal to vote Jukun candidates during the last general elections.
“I think what is happening is well beyond an ordinary squabble as it is being reported. From intelligence, we have gathered that the Tiv especially those living in Wukari are being molested over issues that had to do with politics,” Tor-Ityokaa claimed.
The Ukum council chairman equally accused Fulani militia of cashing in on the fragile development to invade sacked Tiv villages with their cattle.
“The Fulani militia had been looking for an opportunity to invade our communities with their cattle and the crisis has provided them an ample opportunity to carry out such. As we speak, over 5,000 persons have been displaced as a result of this crisis which has placed on us a heavy burden.”
While appealing for calm, the council boss called on the federal authorities to come to the aid of the displaced persons stressing that the situation had over stretched the resources of the council.
He, however, thanked the Benue State government for it support for the IDPs as well as security agencies whom he said have also been of tremendous help in efforts towards ending the carnage.
Meanwhile, Mr Daniel Adi, the Chairmen of Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State has denied allegations by his counterpart in Ukum local government, accusing him of complicity in the ongoing crisis between the Tiv and Jukuns on Benue and Taraba states border.
In a phone interview with our correspondent from Jalingo, Adi said that it was unfortunate that rather than working for peace, his Benue State counterpart was fanning the flames of violence by deliberately dishing out false information.
He said that he was currently under threats from his own people for insisting that the Tiv people should not be attacked and for providing refuge for several of them since the beginning of the crisis.
“How can the Chairman of Ukum Local Government Area accuse me of complicity in the crisis, whereas we are working together to ensure that the crisis comes to an end? As we speak, I have a lot of Tiv people staying in my house since the crisis started.
“If I did not like the Tiv people, will I give them sanctuary? My people are even threatening to burn my house for insisting that they should not attack the Tiv people.
“I am a Christian and I know that someday, we will all give account of our actions. It is very unfortunate that my colleague is rather fanning the flames of the crisis rather than working to end it. I really don’t know anything about what he is saying. It is all falsehood.” (Daily Sun)
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