NGOs tour Taraba, term mayhem ‘acts of terrorism’
Six non-governmental organisations (NGOs) under the auspices of Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) have visited several communities in Taraba to have a first hand knowledge on the attacks in the state.
Findings of their five-day visit, according to a statement by the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, revealed that on April 13 this year, Lau local council in the northern senatorial district, especially Lainde Jessi village, was attacked during a burial, Evangelist John of the CRCM church confirmed.
He said the crisis claimed a boy, adding that the villagers were at the verge of interring the boy when the attackers struck, killed five others and burnt houses. His words: “This happened in Lau LGA and we proceeded to a village called Katibu where the entire villagers were wiped out within a day by the Fulani herdsmen in just a night all in the Northeast and northern senatorial district of Taraba State.”
On the next day, the team proceeded to the southern part of the state, precisely Takum council area, where it met a group of protesters demanding for the withdrawal of military personnel, citing alleged brutalisation of residents who were reportedly poised to defend selves in the face of continued killings in the state.
The citizens reportedly accused the troops of stealing their belongings, a claim that has since been denied by the military high command.A tour of Geshaka, Bali, Mambilla and Gembu on April 15 revealed destroyed structures amid presence of soldiers for maintenance of peace. The team observed that activities were going on smoothly. A victim, however, noted that the attacks usually come up in the night.
The NGOs concluded that the killings in Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa and other states were “pure acts of terrorism by armed Fulani herdsmen. The Federal Government clearly has failed to fulfill the constitutional obligation which specifies that the security and welfare of the citizens are the primary objectives of government as enshrined in Section 14 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Section 14 (2) (b) states thus: “The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”“From our observations in Taraba State, we met a citizenry that have lost hope that government, especially the Federal Government, has the political will to discharge the binding constitutional obligation to protect their lives and property from the well-coordinated attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen.”
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