Christopher Adyem, a Toriiorshaer Community leaders


Christopher Adyem is one of the elders in Tor- Iorshaer village, Rafinkada Ward of Wukari LGA. It is a self resettled community that lost four members from gun men attack. He spoke with Williams Ayooso on their bitter experiences, grievances and expectations. 

We heard that Tor-Iorshagher was attacked and four persons were killed. Can you narrate to us what exactly happened?

On the 23rd of last month, we submitted a notification letter to all the security agencies in the state notifying them that the Tiv Community in Tor-Iorshagher and adjoining villages had decided that they would return to their ancestral homes on the 26th day of November 2020 following the declaration by the Executive Governor of Taraba State, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku that the crisis was over and everybody should go back to his place.

So we served all the security agencies the letter on the 23rd and on the 26th day of last month, we all assembled ourselves because we were living in different IDP camps. We boarded vehicles which conveyed us to the Tor- Iorshagher.  Shortly after our arrival, the Local Government chairman Hon. Daniel Adi came in company of the captain of the Takum Barrack, the DPO Wukari, Area Commander, Special Force Officers and some officers of the DSS.

In their meeting with some of our elders, the Chairman, Wukari LGA, Hon. Daniel Adi, asked us why we decided to come back. We told him that the governor had given us assurance that the crisis was over so there was no need for us to remain in the IDP camps and we are also mindful of the fact that we must have to mend our broken houses now that it is dry season so that during the raining season, we will stay and resume our farm works.

He then told us that we are not supposed to come back because the governor was talking about only people in Chonku and Asa. So we should go and wait for our turn. We told him we are back in our homes and not for any mischief so we should be protected, but he insisted we must go back to where we were coming from. He removed N20, 000. 00. and gave us to fuel our vehicles and go back. We told him we were tired of living in IDP camps so since we are not out for mischief we will remain in our place if really the crisis had finished and that was how he left.

This was on Friday. So on Sunday night, some suspected Jukun millitia came in numbers and attacked us killing four persons among us

So what happened after the killings as regard the angle of the security personnel?

The following day, security agencies came including the Special Force officers stationed in Tor-Iorshagher, and the Police Officers from Wukari. We told them what happened, they sympathized with us and snapped pictures of the corpses and left, snapped pictures of the corpses and left.

After the incident, did the chairman come to see what happened and or condole with you?

No he did not come up till now that I am talking to you. He had neither come nor put a call to anybody in respect to that because nobody has said it to my hearing.

There is a committee set up by the Governor for the resettlement of displaced persons, why don’t you allow the committee to finish it work and resettle you officially?

I have never in this world seen where there is crisis between two communities and the government will set up a committee that will be building houses for the people to come and enter. So we are beginning to see that this is really a ploy by the committee to enable the government to take over our ancestral homes and land, otherwise the government announced officially that the crisis was over and truly there were no more gun shots, no more killings, so we feel there was no need for us to wait for the government to bring us back.

I did not at the same time see where we had gone wrong. If the government desired to bring us back and we decided to go back, I think in a way we have rather reduced the cost of the amount that would have been expended on this project. So we let the committee and the security agencies know that there was actually no difference between waiting for the government to come and pack us in trucks and going back ourselves. We gave a date and waited till that date before we came back

Are you thinking of going back to the IDP camps because of the attack?

No. we are not going back. This is our place and we have come back to stay in our ancestral homes. All we need is that security should protect us so that we will not have a repeat of such ugly situation. The governor has also sympathized with us by sending some food items to us through the Honorable Commissioner on Social Development, Bridget Twar and we appreciate that so much but we are also appealing to him to protect us so that we can continue with our farming businesses.





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