Tears, fears in Bali, as man allegedly killed by Kuru Jibu’s gunmen is buried
By our Reporter
It was a moment of grief and fear of the unknown as the Tiv and other ethnic groups in Bali, joined the Dugwer Community to burry Joshua Terwase Ayem. Terwase Ayem was gunned down on the 3rd April by gun men who were allegedly protecting the interest of the Kuru Jibu, HRH Alhaji Abubakar Mahmood Adamu, in a protracted land grab scandal in which the Executive Governor of Taraba State, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku is suspected to be involved.
Dugwer, where the disputed land is situated, is a suburban community, south of Bali town, along Marraba -Takum road, in Bali LGA of Taraba State. The ancient settlement, which is occupied largely by Tiv agrarian farmers is a space that spans across 500 hectares of land.
The reminds of the Late Terwase being committed to mother earth
The late Terwase, according to Worldview checks, was one of those who were protesting the invasion of their land by the Kuru Jibu’s Bulldozer. While others escaped with several gunshots’ injuries, Terwase was not lucky. He was rushed to the Bali General hospital where he died hours later.
The elaborate, but emotive funeral rites, which commenced with a wake-keep in St. Barnabas Catholic Church Dugwer on the 28th April, ended with a final interment in his new house, New Jerusalem, Behind General Hospital, Bali.
Children and wife of the late Terwase
Speaking at the emotion laden ceremony, the Ter Bali, Zaki David Gbaa Tela, called on the Tiv people to remain calm and law abiding in any situation that they find themselves. The Ter Bali who condoled the family of the deceased in particular and the Dugwer community in general, said it is the most trying times for the Tiv people in Bali, adding that the late Terwase died protecting the land of his ancestors.
“In Bali, we are known for proper coordination of our activities and peaceful existence. Under no circumstance should we allow this profile to elude us. The entire country is in a restive situation. It’s not only in Bali or Taraba State that strange and bad things such as this are happening. In a situation this, we need to increase of patience and tolerance levels, so that we can minimize some risks. As you know, we the Tiv people are very vulnerable and an endangered specie. If we do not operate with caution, we will go extinct as a people, in the history of Taraba Sate. No condition is permanent, I believe that all the trying moments will come to pass, but to get there, we must be patient and exercise high level of tolerance” He Stated.
The late Terwase burial place in the New Jerusalem, Bali, is a community effort. According to Ter Bali, the land is bought by the Tiv community in Bali, as a house for the deceased family and his final place of rest. He further explained that since the deceased’s home in Dugwer has become a disputed land, the need has arisen to settle the deceased and his family in a neutral place, hence the purchase of the land. He called on the entire Tiv people in Bali to contribute financially to build a house for the family on the land.
Meanwhile, the ceremony was emotion laden, as tears and wild cries of women, youth and children rented the air. Some people who spoke with our reporter, said the late Terwase was a member of the vigilante, a peace lover and an illustrious son of the soul.
A community leader, who identified himself as Simon Bemdoo, lamented the current situation hovering on the Tiv of Bali, describing it dangerous.
“We are living under a fear of the unknown. The future cast a cloud of gloom and trepidation over our heads. There is an eerie feeling of foreboding all over the place. Our leaders are now our persecutors. With the current leadership, our future is brick. We are profiled for elimination.
“We have leaders who are only interested is chasing us away and taking over our lands for personal interests. No community survives under this condition. If this situation did not call for concern, nothing will.” He lamented.
Born in February 1983, the late Joshua Terwase Ayem was buried on Saturday, 29th April, 2023. He is survived by his mother and seven children.