There is palpable tension in Nasarawa state, as gunmen suspected to be Fulani marauders ambushed and killed 45 Tiv nationalities in Awe and Obi Local government areas of the state.
The President Tiv Development Association (TIDA), in Nasarawa state, Peter Ahemba disclosed this in a telephone chart with our correspondent in Lafia
He said that a total of 45 people, including children, were attacked and killed, adding that many were also injured while others are missing.
“As I speak to you now, some of the dead bodies are in the bush while others are currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital in the state,” Ahemba added.
He appealed to his members not to react but to allow the police and other security agencies to do their work to unravel the circumstances surrounding the ungodly attacks.
But the State Police Command in a statement issued by the PPRO, ASP Namsel Ramhan, on the development, said that only nine persons were killed in the attack.
According to the statement, “On 17/12/2021 at about 1140hrs, a complaint was received that one Umaru Idrisu ‘M’ of Gidan Washi Village, Obi LGA was attacked and killed by unknown armed men.
“Upon receipt of the complaints, the Commissioner of Police, CP Adesina Soyemi ordered the Divisional Police Officer, Obi Division to move to the scene where the corpse was removed and taken to the hospital for post mortem examination but later released to the family for burial according to Islamic rites.
“Security has been provided in the village to prevent breakdown of law and order as investigation has since commenced to unravel the mystery behind the attack and bring the perpetrators to book.
“While investigation was ongoing, a suspected reprisal attack was carried out by unknown persons in Hangara village, Lafia East Development Area, Lafia LGA and crossed over to the neighboring Kwayero Village of Obi LGA and the following persons namely: Sani Dauda, Danjuma Liambee, Uloho Jerry, Shedrack Kente, Boniface John, Tersoo Clement, Gwanje Soja and Ayuba Ali were attacked and killed; their corpse were recovered and taken to the hospital by the Police.”
“In view of the foregoing, the Commissioner of Police, CP Adesina Soyemi has moved to the scene of the incidents, contacted and held meetings with critical stakeholders in the various communities and urged them to suspend further hostilities and live in peace and assured them that a comprehensive investigation was ongoing, as the perpetrators of the act will not go unpunished.
“Furthermore, a joint team of the Nigeria Police Force and the Military has been mobilised to the affected areas with a view to restoring peace and possible arrest of the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
The Commissioner of Police has also condoled the family of the affected persons and prayed for the repose of their souls; the statement reads.
Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, has also vowed to ensure that killers of a Fulani herdsman and Tiv farmers in the state, who were recently attacked, are arrested and prosecuted.
Governor Sule made the vow during a meeting held on Monday with security chiefs, traditional rulers as well as Tiv and Fulani community leaders in the Obi Local Government Area of the state.
The meeting was in response and part of sustained efforts to curtail the violence that erupted in parts of Obi and Lafia LGAs at the weekend.
He said, “There was a needless loss of lives of our citizens. Such act of violence is most unfortunate, condemnable, unacceptable and will not be condoned by this administration.
“I am admonishing you all to live in peace with one another and to shun mischief makers looking for opportunities to cause mayhem.”
He charged community leaders in the area to avoid making spurious claims, saying that such claims create a wrong impression within and outside the state.
As to the accurate figures of those killed, the Governor said security operatives involved in restoring peace in the affected areas are the most appropriate to ascertain the figures.
“As an administration, we will do everything possible to get to the bottom of this and forestall any future security breach.
“Relief materials will be sent to displaced persons and government will work with all stakeholders to ensure that they return to their communities and businesses as soon as possible,” he said.