CP, LG boss condemns attack
From Tunde Rahman, Lokoja
Confusion was let lose early Friday morning as unidentified gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen attacked Tawari village in Kogi Local Government Area of Kogi killing over 23 persons.
Sources from Tawari village told News Hub Mag! that the attackers invaded the village at about 1.00 am on Friday, shooting sporadically in the air and setting houses and churches ablaze.
They also touched the oldest clinic established by the Missionaries in the Colonial era and the official vehicle of the traditional ruler of the area, the Aguma of Tawari, Alhaji Idris Tawari among other numerous properties.
It was also confirmed that the APC Chairman Tawari ward, Ibrahim Simbabi and the Chief Imam of the village, Mallam Zakari Salihu were gruesomely murdered during the unexpected attack.
News Hub Mag! gathered that 20 Bassa Kwomu and 3 Gbagyi men lost their lives while several others including some policemen were reported to have sustained serious injuries and are presently receiving treatment at the Koton Karfe General Hospital.
The Administrator of Kogi Local Government, Barr. Muhammed Tanko Musa Osuku, who visited the community to access the situation and condole with the traditional ruler, the Aguma of Tawari, Alhaji Idris Yusuf Tawaru described the killings as “wicked and heartless”.
The Administrator who in company of the state Police Commissioner, confirmed that the unidentified gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen attacked a Bassa Kwomu community in Tawari and killed over 20 young men aged between 20 and 40 years and above.
Tanko promised the residents that the Council would work with relevant security agencies and volunteers to ensure that the perpetrators were arrested and prosecuted.
He directed the immediate evacuation of the survivors to the General Hospital for proper medical care, pledging that the Council would settle the medical bills.
He advised residents to report their problems to appropriate authorities rather than taking the laws into their own hands.
Also, the Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ede Ayuba, appealed to the families of the victims not to take to reprisal, assuring them that efforts were on to apprehend the killers.
Earlier, the Aguma of Tawari, HRH, Alhaji Idris Yusuf Tawari had told both the Administrator and Commissioner of Police that the attack was perpetrated by some Fulani people, adding that the attack started at about 12 midnight in the early hours of today (Friday) leading to the gruesome murder of over 20 young men.
Investigations by News Hub Mag! revealed that about a year ago the Bassas Kwomu and nomads in the area had issues over trespass into farmland. The disagreement was said to have been settled on the condition that the farmers will not burn the bush to enable their cattle feed on the grass.
Unfortunately some unknown hunters, unaware of the agreement, started burning the bush. The herders were said to have protested, an action that did not go down well with the farmers and this sparked off a physical combat that led to the death a young Fulani man.
News Hub Mag! gathered that a truce was reached and it was agreed that there will be no reprisal or counter attack from both sides.
But soon after, the farmers were said to have suspected strange movements of the Nomads as they were seen moving out of the area unceremoniously. Some didn’t suspect any danger coming as they believed it is the usual nomadic life of migration in search of greener pastures.
With the Friday early morning attack, it dawned on them that the migrated Fulanis had returned to take revenge. They therefore called on the security agencies and the government to ensure the criminals are brought to book.