A group of residents of Michika have called for the constitution of a committee to probe extra judicial killings by local mobs in Khurkasa and Kamale villages of Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa state.
The group in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Christopher Tizhe, alleged that there were incidents of organised killings in the name of reprisals going on in some villages of Michika local government under the guise of fighting Boko Haram. It said something urgently needed to be done before things degenerated to another serious crisis.
“In Khurkasa village of Vi district for instance, 16 people, mostly women and children passing through the village, where killed and burnt by a mob,” the group said. “Similarly another group of 17 people including a pregnant woman returning to Michika from Cameroun after the announcement that Michika had been recaptured from Boko Haram were burnt alive in Kamale village by a mob claiming to be fighting Boko Haram.”
The group lauded the Nigeria Army for recapturing Michika and urged the military to be careful against being misled by some selfish groups or individuals looking for opportunities to settle personal scores.
“We commend the laudable feat of our gallant soldiers in their latest successes in recovering territories including Michika from insurgents,” the group said. “We want to call for extreme caution in managing the victory by the military and vigilante groups by way of proper investigation of suspects to avoid extra judicial killings.
“The military and other security operatives should also guard against being used for extra-judicial killings by interest groups in the area who want to settle religious, tribal and political scores with each other by forwarding list of opponents as boko haram suspects.”
It called on Michika people, particularly the elites including political, traditional and religious leaders, to as a matter of urgency come together to find a panacea to the ethno-religious tension that has been brewing in Michika even before the Boko Haram incident which has now aggravated the ethno-religious divide in the area.
It stressed the need for diverse people of Michika to learn to live together in peace, quoting Martin Luther King Jr who said, “We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
The group kicked against what it described as desperation by some politicians who were urging people to return to Michika because of elections when the reality on ground showed that the area was not yet safe for people to return en-masse.
The group reiterated its call on Federal and state governments as well as donor agencies, NGOs and philanthropists to come to the aid of the displaced people of Michika particularly by providing them with the needed basic amenities like water, shelter and healthcare facilities to facilitate their return home.