Communities cry out over activities of suspected bandit leader in Taraba
The Tiv communities of Chinkai, Arufu, Akwana, Kente, Sondi and Assa Chiefdoms all of Wukari Local Government Area, Taraba State have cried out to the Taraba State Commissioner of Police CP Ambimbola Shokoya and the Taraba State Government to come to their aid and arrest one Alh. Gana, a suspected bandit leader, who had long being terrorizing their communities in the recent time
In a petition written against the suspected bandit leader and submitted to the Commissioner of Police, the group alleged that Alh. Gana and some other Fulani herdsmen had consistently continue to carry out coordinated and serial attacks such as killings, kidnappings, maiming, rapping of women, burning of houses, thefts, and deliberate grazing on their planted crops in the communities.
The petition states that serious and serial attacks on the communities which claimed numerous lives, started in 2014 after farm harvest in which Many people were brutally killed, properties worth Millions of Naira looted and houses burnt and demolished, leaving the people displaced.
The group in the petition also revealed that the chairman of Wukari Local Government Area together with security agencies and traditional leaders in Wukari Traditional Council had tried to restore peace in the area but things are becoming increasingly difficult owing to the massive attacks by the suspected bandit leader.
They alleged that Alhaji Gana is an indigene of Bauchi State who had settled in Jos-North Local Government Area of Plateau State but later moved to Azara, in Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State and now relocated to Chinkai, in Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State with his criminal gangs since 2014, where he kept perpetrating the attacks.
“Since Alh. Gana moved into Chinkai, the area is always in crisis. His son, Duni, is a notorious kidnapper operating in Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State and some neighbouring Local Government Areas of Benue and Nasarawa States.
“Our communities are under siege as a result of the activities of Alhaji Gana and his criminal gangs. Last month, Alhaji Gana and his criminal gangs of Fulani herdsmen crossed to some villages in Benue State and killed about thirty (30) people.
“Wukari to Akwana is no longer safe for travelers due to the criminal activities of this bandit.
“From 2014 to date, we have been making several attempts to return to our ancestral homes but each time we returned, farmed, and plant crops, the Fulani herdsmen under the coordination of Alhaji Gana and his armed group with dangerous weapons would wait until our crops are ready for harvest, then they would start attacking us.
“These unwanted and unprovoked attacks have continued for several years since 2014, resulting to displacement of our people and rendering us homeless, depriving us of our means of livelihood”. The petition reads in part.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer PPRO, Taraba State Command, SP Abdullahi Usman acknowledged receipt of the petition.
He however stated that no arrest had been made in respect to the petition but investigation was ongoing.
“We have recieved a petition from the communities and immediately swung into action. Though we are yet to make any arrest, investigation is ongoing”. He stated.