Suspected armed youths attack returning IDPs in Taraba

Some of the belongings of the IDPs destroyed by the gang

Suspected armed youths attack returning IDPs in Taraba

Jethro Yerga

Suspected armed youths alleged to have been working under the directives of the Caretaker Committee (CTC) chairman of Wukari Local Government Area, Hon. Daniel Adi (Adi grace), have hacked down three Internally Displaced persons (IDP), seize their vehicles and destroyed bricks and other valuable items at Tor-Iorlumun Community, Rafinkada Ward of Wukari Local Government Area, Taraba State.

A victim of the attack, Tarnege John who narrated the incident to our reporters said they were busy mending their destroyed houses and laying bricks to reconstruct other houses when the Jukun youths, armed with sophisticated weapons, came en mass and started shutting sporadically.

“In the issuing drama, some of our brothers ran in to the bushes around and some of us decided to stay so that we would find out what brought about the unfortunate and ugly situation, but to our greatest surprise, the young men aggressively descended on us with machetes and hacked down the three of us and left us in a pool of blood.

One of the victims hacked down by the gang

“When they discovered that we were unconscious, they carted away with our Peugeot and three motorcycles, even as they burnt all our belongings without any interference.

Some round houses destroyed by the attackers at Tor-Iorlumun Village

“I want to use this opportunity to call on stakeholders in the State, especially in Wukari LGA to proactively wed into this issue.

“We are also appealing to the State Government and all the necessary authorities to step up majors and take proactive steps to prevent this crisis from resurfacing so as to avoid the previous ugly situation and to enable settle down and care for our remaining economic trees and the remaining graves of our ancestors”. He narrated.

The victims further lamented that they were not finding it easy with the gang in the entire Local Government Area, as they kept harassing and molesting the returning IDPs all round the LGA, who are deeply engaged in mending their destroyed houses

They disclosed that in the late hours of Friday, the gang proceeded to Tse-Atsenga, located about 6 km away from Wukari-Tsukundi Road, there they mercilessly tortured some of the IDPs, snatched their handsets, destroyed their properties and chased them with sophisticated weapons

Some of the belongings of the IDPs destroyed by the gang

The victims further recalled that barely a day before the incident, the same gang had led men of the Police Operatives to Ikyernum Village of Tsukundi Ward, about 17 Km away from Wukari, the Administrative Headquarters of the Local Government Area , where they arrested three IDPs who were mending their destroyed houses and surprisingly, took them to Byepi, the CTC Chairman’s Village.

In a telephone interview with the Wukari CTC Chairman, Hon. Daniel Adi, he denied knowledge of all the allegations and facts presented to our reporters by the victims of the various attacks in the Local Government.

In his words; “No body has reported such incidence to me. It is best you find out very well from the person that gave you such  information because since morning, I have been in the office up till now that am talking to you but non of the security officers reported such issues to me.

“I have even met with the Chairman, Tiv Cultural and Social Association (TCSA), Wukari this evening. I was with him throughout this evening so I want to tell you that my area is calm and peaceful Shikina”. He added.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Taraba State Police Command, SP Abdullahi Usman said the command was not yet properly and officially informed of the incidence but he would get to the DPO of Wukari Division to find out what was on ground and update the press in due course

Recall that since 1st April, 2019 the IDPs who fled the area had been taking refuge in the neighbouring villages in the surrounding states. The Executive Governor of the State, Arc Darius Dickson Ishaku had long declared cease fire which had been sincerely honoured by both parties for about a year now.

However, there is an apprehension and palpable fear now, that the situation may  not remain the same if the Government fail to step up and take proactive steps to resettle the returning IDPs and prevent the unabated attacks on them


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