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Bauchi boat mishap claims 30 lives as gunmen kill three in Plateau

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Jukun-Tiv crisis a shame, says cleric
Groups write N’Assembly, want probe of N’East NGOs over alleged abuses

No fewer than 30 persons have been feared dead when a canoe capsised in Kirfi Council Area of Bauchi State, according to eye witnesses accounts.

But a statement from the Police in Bauchi yesterday said the incident occurred on Monday morning while a canoe conveying 25 male passengers on Kuna River in Kirfi Council Area capsised.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Abubakar Kamal Datti, confirmed that the command received a distress call to provide rescue team in collaboration with locals after which it immediately mobilised to the scene and successfully rescued 18 passengers.

As at press time yesterday, four people were confirmed dead, while three passengers are still missing, “but efforts are on to trace and possibly rescue them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Governor Bala Muhammed, who expressed shock over the incident when he visited the scene, said 15 people have been rescued and donated N10m to the victims’ families.

However, peace initiatives by security agencies to end attacks in parts of Plateau State suffered a setback yesterday as gunmen killed three women on their farms at Vatt Community in Foron District of Barkin-Ladi Council Area of the state.

The Guardian learnt that the three women along with others were harvesting their crops when the gunmen invaded the farms and opened fire on them, killed the threesome instantly while others fled for their dear lives to different directions.

A resident of the community, revealed that the victims are, Tabitha Joro Dung, Ngo Yop Gwom Pam and Zong Peter, saying the attackers also destroyed their farms and the crops they had harvested before they left.

When contacted, State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Deputy Superintendent Matthias Terna Tyopev said he was out of town but would confirm and get back to the reporter, but did not revert as at the time of filing this report.

Besides, Apostolic Administrator of Jos Archdiocese and Coadjutor Archbishop of Abuja, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama has described the lingering Jukun-Tiv crisis in Taraba State as an embarrassment, disappointment and a shame.

He lamented that it was unthinkable that the two groups continue to commit atrocities against each other on account of tribal differences and the struggle for economic and political control.

Kaigama stated this yesterday at a meeting of Catholic Bishops and Priests of Abuja and Jos Ecclesiastical Provinces at the Dailogue, Reconciliation and Peace (DREP) Centre in Jos, Plateau State over the Jukun-Tiv crisis.

He urged the priest to remain neutral, non-partisan and teach people the merits and benefits of forgiveness, reconciliation and resolving differences through genuine dialogue.

He also charged them to resist the temptation of taking as real what could be distorted historical narratives, mere prejudices, blackmail or fabricated stories that have no bearing with reality but which severely strain relationship.

Meanwhile, the Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC) and the Centre for International and Strategy Studies (CISS) have written the National Assembly on the activities of some international non-govermental organisations (NGOs) in the North East and seeking a through investigation of their activities.

This followed recent revelation by a human rights group that some of the NGOs were passing classified information to members of the Boko Haram terrosrists.

In the letter titled, “The Despicable Actions by International NGOS and Their Local Franchise in Support of Boko Haram and the need for Urgent Legislation to Ban Their Activities,” jointly signed by Ibrahim Abubakar of SHAC and Ifure Ataifure of CISS, they charged the Assembly to enact laws that would curtail the excesses of the international NGOs operating in North East.


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