Two weeks after attacks on Katibu, Baba Gasa, Donada communities in Lau Local Government Area of Taraba State, more corpses have been discovered.
The affected communities, mostly Fulani, have also alleged they were yet to receive any assistance or condolence from the state government.
A team led by security operatives and comprising community leaders and journalists on Monday found six mutilated bodies in the bush on the outskirt of Katibu and Donada.
‘’The corpses discovered include those of Ali Mahmud, aged 71; Baba Yaro, 70; Jauro Umar Tela, 43; and Sanda Ahmadu, 42,” a community leader, Muhammad Modibbo Ali, said.
“Others are females and these are Dija Abdu, 68; and Adama Ahmadu, 64.
‘’We totally condemn the ethno -religious killings being witnessed in our state, Taraba,’’ he said.
Another community leader, Bello Babni Ja’e, said over 4,000 people were displaced by the attacks.
‘’We came here in search of the bodies of our people killed. Here we are with soldiers and journalists and so far we have discovered additional six corpses and buried them.
‘’We are calling on the government to take proactive measures to bring an end to the incessant killings. Over 4,000 people were displaced by the militia attacks and unfortunately, we are yet to get any assistance from Taraba State government.
‘’Up till now, the state government has not commiserated with the affected Fulani communities or provided relief materials. We only heard that relief materials were provided to other non-Fulani communities.
“’This is unfortunate. We urge government to treat us equally, we are all citizens, The governor had earlier deployed more security and provided relief assistance to our brothers of the Yandang communities,” Mr. Babni Ja’e said.
Speaking at the funeral rites for the six corpses, Mr. Ali, said also said victims of the disturbances in the area were not being given relief materials or assistance due to what he described as “preferential treatment.’’
But the state government on Tuesday denied the allegation.
‘’We, the people of Katibu, Baba Gasa and Donada are yet to get any assistance from the state government. The government assistance is only tailored to one side excluding Fulani communities,” Mr. Ali said.
He said only an NGO, known as Stop Genocide, had offered assistance to victims in the communities.
Reacting to the allegation of discrimination, however, the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the governor, Bala Abu, said “Fulani people were not displaced.”
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES, Mr. Abu said: “Do you know where the Fulani displaced people are?”
“Donada and Abbare are not Fulani places. Where are the (Fulani) displaced people? Because, I don’t know where these Fulani are presently camped.
‘’It is only when you know where they are that you will start saying that they were not given relief materials. If they were displaced, where are they?’’
However, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Affairs, Emmanuel Bello, said equal treatment was being accorded to all sides.
‘’It cannot be even possible to do preferential treatment because the relief materials came in three phases, including Presidential Initiatives, and are being delivered to community leaders, not individuals.
‘’Representatives of these communities, local officials are part of the distribution committee and I don’t believe that people will be short-changed,’’ Mr. Bello said.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...