Kingsley Eze, Jalingo
Unknown gunmen have in the late hours of Saturday, burnt down a hut constructed by Internally Displaced Persons IDPs, who have returned and are picking up their pieces at Tor-Iorshagher, KM 15, Wukari-Rafinkada Road, Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State, the home of the Executive Governor of the State, Dr Agbu Kefas, to drive out the returning IDPs in the area.
Sources disclosed that the gunmen invaded the settlement around 11:00PM when the IDPs had worked on the hut and retired to rest in a nearby area with their other relatives close to security Post stationed in the area
They stressed that after shooting sporadically in the air without hearing any response to their heavy gunshots, the gunmen set fire on the hut as smoke rented the air with heavy flames
Our reporter gathered that the displaced Persons visited the scene the following day only to discover that all their items where either destroyed or carted away by the gun men
They identified cooking pots, buckets, clothes, hoes, mats, plates and food items of different kinds as some of the items either destroyed or carted away
The incident came after the chairman of the Local Government Area, Hon Samaila Dauda, had called for Tiv stakeholders’ meeting at the LG Secretariat, after reports alleging that he colluded with security agencies to chase the IDPs rented the air
Represented at the meeting by the Vice chairman, Hon Samaila resolved to reconvened an expanded meeting of elders of both Jukun and Tiv when he comes back from his journey so as to map out concrete ways through which the Displaced Persons could return back to their ancestral homes without molestation
Our reporter gathered that despite the attack after the meeting, the IDPs returnees in the early hours of Sunday, 21st January, 2024 held their first Sunday Service after four years of being away following the crisis between Jukun and Tiv in the Area.
While Interacting with our reporter on telephone, the leader of the community who identified himself as Simon Oryavenga, said the area was relatively calm only for the tension raised by the burnt hut
However, when contacted on telephone, the Security Adviser of the chairman, denied knowledge of the attack. He said he has sent somebody who went there and returned with a message that there was no sign of a burnt hut.
“The person l sent to check the issue you raised said he did not see any sign of burnt hut. I want to assure you that I will take a trip to the place tomorrow unfailingly and I will definitely get back to you. My boss is highly concern about the displaced Persons in the area and he is working round the clock to ensured that the displaced persons return to their various ancestral homes safely”. He stated
The Police Public Relation Officer, SP Usman Abdullahi said the issues surrounding the area are basically between the government and the people of the area as such, it was not withing his jurisdiction to attend to the press over the issue
Meanwhile, the leader of the returning displaced Persons, Mr Simon Oryavenga, has appealed to the Executive Governor of Taraba State, Dr Agbu Kefas, to look into the skimishes resurrecting in the area and provide adequate security for the already traumatised Persons without further delay, to prevent resurgence of innocent killings along the axis
He also appealed to the government and spirited individuals to come to their aid by providing them with relief materials to curshion the effects of the hardship they are passing through in the area