The Nation Newspaper is reporting that a Monarch in Taraba State, and 28 others, were killed during the week, in fresh attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
The attacks which reportedly took place between Tuesday and Wednesday, occurred while the dust was yet to settle on herdsmen attacks on some Benue State communities, early in the year, which resulted in the death of about 70 residents.
Many other people were said to have been injured in the Taraba incidents, while scores of other people were displaced after their homes were torched by the invaders.
No fewer than nine people were killed in separate attacks in Gishiri, Dooshima, and Danwaza villages of Taraba State, while another attack by the herdsmen on Karmen village, Ibi Local Government Area, left the Traditional Ruler, Zaki Gabriel Ukovur, dead.
Eleven people, including women and children, were killed in Wukari, and six others in Gassol.
The Taraba State Broadcasting Service, TSBS, had reported that two people were killed on Tuesday, when gunmen attacked Donnada village in Lau Local Government Area, where a mass burial of more than 68 persons took place.
The Caretaker Chairman of Ibi Local Government Council, Bala Bako, who confirmed the attacks and killings to Journalists in a telephone call, said the killers operate on the same network as the Fulani gunmen who attacked Logo and Guma Local Government Areas of Benue State, in the New Year killing that took about 73 people’s lives.
In Ibi Local Government Area, Bako said the gunmen struck when the people of the area had gathered for a security meeting.
He said: “We are having security challenges in Ibi Council, and we have been making efforts to ensure that all the ethnic groups in our domain accommodate one another and live together peacefully.
“The chief (Traditional Ruler) of Ibi, was able to set up a Committee that was sitting to find a lasting solution to the problem. It was in one of the meetings that the Fulani gunmen attacked and killed the Monarch.
“The people had gathered and were waiting for us for the security meeting, when suddenly an armed Fulani man emerged and started shooting. The local chief was killed during the attack.”
“It was dreadful”, one resident eyewitness said.
Confirming the attacks in a telephone conversation with the Nation’s Correspondent, yesterday, Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, said some communities were being attacked by herdsmen in the State, even as he spoke.
“How can you be killing people, because of grasses or cows?” he wondered.
“Yesterday, they attacked and killed innocent people in Taraba without provocation. Today, an hour ago, they attacked some communities and killed people. Is that how people should continue to be killed?
“The killings by Fulani herdsmen in some parts of the country, is more than the feud between farmers and cattle pastoralists.
“It is a drive for territorial control, and we need to protect the people. We must protect the country.”