Taraba officials, women accuse security agents of shielding herdsmen over killings
Displeased with the role of security agents in the killings by herdsmen in Taraba State, the state government has condemned renewed attacks on innocent citizens in some villages of Jalingo. In a statement yesterday, it said, “Government is particularly worried over failure of security operatives to arrest and prosecute the herdsmen in spite of their continuous operations with sophisticated weapons such as AK47 rifles.”
It also lamented alleged lopsided arrest of youths in the affected areas, describing the attacks and security agents’ attitude as ungodly, unethical and barbaric.
Appealing to security operatives, especially soldiers to be unbiased in the discharge of their duties, the state government cautioned the people of the communities and the entire state against taking the laws into their hands.Besides, women of Kona Community in Ardo-Kola Local Government Area of the state yesterday stormed the streets of Jalingo, protesting against the killings of their spouses and children, as well as destruction of their property.
They also faulted the role of security operatives in the crisis, citing the way and manner in which youths of the community were arrested and kept in custody. They lamented that the herdsmen who killed their people and destroyed their property were allowed to go free.
The women, who defied bad weather and heavy presence of armed security personnel, matched around jalingo, protesting against the way and manner in which security operatives were allegedly shielding the killer herdsmen.
Some of them told The Guardian that: “The herdsmen, with full support of security men, have turned us to widows and our children to orphans. As if that is not enough, they also helped them to burn our houses and property.” A leader of the protesters, Janet Musa, said the women have not only been made widows, as a result of the attacks, but have been rendered homeless just as security men have been arresting the youths.
They, therefore, demanded immediate release of their children, saying there was an urgent need for the Federal Government to call security personnel drafted to restore peace in the affected communities to order.A female politician who hails from the community, Philo Yavala, noted that the women, who wore black attire, were protesting the killing of their husbands and children, while security operatives arrested some of their children.
But in a swift reaction, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) David Misal refuted the allegations, stating, “Our presence in the crisis areas did not only douse tensions, but restored normalcy.”
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