Seven feared dead as fresh violence rocks Wukari

At least seven persons were feared dead Tuesday after rampaging youth groups clashed in Wukari, Taraba State, residents said.

Residents said gunfire erupted in the early hours of the day, shattering a fragile peace that has kept the troubled town calm for more than a month.

Details of the events were varied. The Taraba State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Joseph Kwaji, confirmed the attacks but did not give details and the number of casualties.

“I can confirm that there was crisis in Wukari during the early hours of the day. But the situation has been brought under control by security operatives who swung into action immediately we got report of what was happening,” Mr. Kwaji told  PREMIUM TIMES.

He said the police had yet to establish the cause of the shooting.

But a source said the violence started when a vehicle approaching Wukari through Takum Road at about 5.30 am refused to stop at a police checkpoint.

“While the police were trying to check the vehicle, it zoomed off with some young men inside it and sped towards the city centre,” he said.

He said the police gave chase and fired at the fleeing vehicle before the car drove into a building near the Central Mosque.

“We learnt the owners of the compound prevented the police from entering the premises and an exchange of gunfire ensued between the police and youth guarding the area,” the source said.

He said three young men believed to have been occupants of the car were killed before others trooped out the town torching homes in reprisal attacks.

The rampage was quelled by soldiers and policemen.

He said the injured were taken to Gongolo Hospital for treatment, while seven bodies had been recovered from the scene.

Another resident told PREMIUM TIMES that on hearing the early morning gunshots, Christian and Muslim youth barricaded their strongholds and started shooting too.

The youth later mobilised and torched homes, he said.

The youth leader of the Muslim Community, Sani Ismaila, told PREMIUM TIMES that there was sustained gunfire around the town early Tuesday.

“There is trouble in Wukari. I don’t know what is happening but there has been shooting right from 5.am. There is shooting all over the place and I don’t know where they came from,” Mr. Ismaila said.

Taraba State has been hit by a wave of deadly violence for months. The fighting have been mainly ethno-religious, between Christians and Muslims, and between Jukun and Hausa/Fulani.

One of the state’s major populations, Jukun, consider Wukari as their ancient homeland having occupied the area, south of the River Benue basin, since the 17th century.

But other ethnic groups including the Tiv and Hausa have been present in the area for over 200 years.


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  • Hussein

    The trouble in Wukari is very troubling. This is the southernmost tip of the North East. The Federal government has established a university in this town managed by a very hardworking Vice-chancellor from the diaspora. This university is a rare dividend of democracy. It has given this rustic town a facelift. Residents of this town should eschew violence and savour the benefits and impact of this institution on their environment instead of destabilising it.

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  • John green

    I hope one day, we will have a better leader in the country and I believed the time is near, by 2015, we will be talking and singing of a new song of praise when we would have gotten a better man to handle the security, electricity, jobs, roads, water and many others which is causing unrest in the country. All this are what PDP lack and is seriously causing problems for the nation. Situations like this happened in all zones and good leaders knows how to tackle them but the president dispensation is all about looting and taking the country for their own. We need a change and a better government..

  • Ahmad Hassan

    great work Audu Huseini

  • Uzoma Ngozi

    Mad men will just wake up, pick up their pen and start writing what they like. Someone should tell these guy that he is the one goofing and not Yale. What does he know? He probably has been paid to put up such a partisan and destructive piece such as this. Writing against someone you know is innocent is out of place. I think you need help

  • Ikechukwu Benneth

    The author of this article, without being told, is crazy, for saying that the Yale University goofed when it conferred a honorary doctorate degree on the immediate past finance and coordinating minister of the economy. Is he saying the former minister is not qualified enough to be given the award.

  • Bolaji Johnson

    Ok, so because you can write now, the next thing for you to do is to make a case out of the achievements of a notable person like Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala. It is quite uneard of the people would just get their pen to paper and start writing irrevant things about certain people in oder to boost their own relevance.

  • Bolaji Johnson

    I dont think Yale university did anything bad by giving Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala such recognition. We need to respect their principles and honour them for it. I feel they have their measuring metrics and it must be said that they have donewell.

  • Ikechukwu Benneth

    This useless epistle against Dr Okonjo-Iweala amounts to nothing in the sight of those who appreciate every good work that came through the former minister. Shame to all her detractors.

  • Ikechukwu Benneth

    It remains a big lie, that it was during Okonjo-Iweala’s tenure, that corruption which included inflation of the subsidy figures, the rise of proxy marketers, over-invoicing and non-record keeping became common in the subsidy business, leading to the present hardship we are experiencing today.

  • Ikechukwu Benneth

    Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is truly a brilliant reformer and dedicated public servant, who championed efforts to stabilize and grow Nigeria’s economy, battling widespread government corruption and creating greater fiscal transparency and discipline.

  • Ikechukwu Benneth

    The evidence is overwhelming, that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala placed much emphasis on building solid foundations and institutions critical for the survival and sustenance of the Nigeria economy.

  • Ikechukwu Benneth

    It cannot be the truth, that Nigeria’s economy, which happens to be the biggest at the moment, and managed by Okonjo-Iweala has fallen apart.

  • Ikechukwu Benneth

    Dr. Okonjo-Iweala never left behind any economic crisis when she left office as coordinating minister of the economy.

  • Ikechukwu Benneth

    It is incorrect for this writer to say, that Okonjo-Iweala admitted that she has not done well in managing and coordinating Nigeria’s economy while admitting that Nigeria is in economic crisis.

  • Ikechukwu Benneth

    I agree totally with Dr. Okonjo-Iweala that Nigerians would have derived clear and measurable benefits from the removal of subsidy.

  • Ikechukwu Benneth

    I have no doubt on my mind, that the argument posed by Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, as saying that the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), created to make savings from the subsidy removal will provide for mass transit, public works, training for the unskilled youth, social services, healthcare, is the correct position.

  • Rowland Williams

    All these are nothing but jobless analytical nonsense. These guys posting falacious jargons here need to study well and comprehend well before writing. What has Okonjo Iweala got to do with the list of notorious people? Nigerians are simply ingrates. Iweala has served this nation meritoriously. Common!!! You better get your facts right! Iweala is a very credible, honest, reliable and selfless leader that should be emulated! Period!

  • Rowland Williams

    Yale has done WELL. Dear Mr. it is crystal clear that you are not knowledgeable in the areas you delved into in your Article. You are indescrete too. Your myopia has made you to write on what you purportedly were told, and not something you know. You are so unlearned and gullible as not to do your research well and to know that Mrs Okonjo Iweala is a Professional Finance Manager and one of the best Economic Administrator that Nigeria has had in time! Now let me educate you at your level; Iweala was one of the major champions who gave a meaningful organization with impeccable accountability to the Nigerian Finances. Politicians who are corrupt- are corrupt, that doesn’t mean you should ignorantly drag the incorruptibles into this- because you heard people blab Jargons.

  • Rowland Williams

    Sometimes I am perplexed at our people’s reasoning- even the so-called literate. Was it Okonjo Iweala that down-turned the Naira and brought-down the Economy? This guy must be a daft and dumb for publishing his ignorantium postulation. Sorry, exclude Madam Okonjo from this, go and get your facts right, you will realize that Madam Okonjo is a down-to-earth one in a Million Financial Manager that world government needs for financial stability and development. Yale University is on point. As Nigerians, we recommend Madam Iweala for more international honours!

  • Rowland Williams

    The surprising thing about the corruption issues is that, the main Corrupt leaders are there, fascinating all these aspersion-oriented Write-ups. Iweala is not among. The key loot players are just there, paying some reputable Lawyers, paupers, and hungry guys to propagate falsehood and raise dust around Okonjo- the wrong person. Madam Ngozi deserves to be celebrated in Nigeria, and not cast aspersions on her!

  • Afeez

    While it is a media tactic to sell and get people to read fake articles, it is absolutely rude to misrepresent or misuse a reputable name like Okonjo-Iweala’s to amass wealth and gain popularity.

  • Afeez

    In other news, Okonjo-Iweala has been very busy with her GAVI job; touring the world to ensure that people’s health are put into perspective. This drama is inconsequential to the numerous challenges she is tackling in the world.

  • Michael

    You are free to concoct lies and turn them into facts, the truth will always prevail in the long run. The same Okonjo-Iweala is moving from country to another, saving lives. Here you are finding faults and cooking cock and bull story.

  • Michael

    People like you are quick to point fingers at government for one reason or the other, but here you are, trying hard to give Okonjo-Iweala a name and image that does not march her personality or character.