Armed persons, on Monday, invaded a mosque at the Maisamari community in Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State, killing its District Head, Abdulkadir Sufiyanu.
Residents said the assailants stormed the area at around 8 p.m. after the breaking of the Ramadan fast and shot dead the traditional ruler while he was performing night prayers.
Maisamari is in the larger part of Mambilla Plateau, the site of controversial Nigeria’s $5.9 billion federal hydro-power project. The project has an estimated 3,050-megawatt generating capacity.
In 2017, ethnoreligious violence erupted in the area between ethnic Fulanis and other ethnic groups in the area. Several people died in the clashes that ensued.
On social media, residents of the area recounted the last moment of the traditional ruler. About nine days ago, Mr Safiyanu was filmed discussing boundary demarcation between the Sadauna council and neighbouring Gashaka with officials of the state government.
The police spokesperson in Taraba command, Usman Abdullahi, could not be immediately reached.
The attack in Maisamari town comes days after gunmen raided several villages in Gassol and Karim Lamido’s local government areas in the North-east region.
Unlike the neighbouring Adamawa, Taraba has been insulated from Boko Haram attacks
But there has been an uptick in kidnap-for-ransom in the state capital, Jalingo. Residents have blamed gunmen, known as bandits in the Nigerian media, for the attacks.
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