Taraba Killings: Controversy trails casualty figure, Miyetti Allah plans crucial meeting

Cattle herd used to illustrate the story.
Cattle used to illustrate the story.

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, is set to hold a crucial meeting with other Fulani groups.

This follows the killing on Saturday of many Fulanis in Taraba by persons suspected to be members of other ethnic groups in the area.

MACBAN and the police have given different casualty figures of the attack.

“Miyetti Allah and other Fulani groups are convening a stakeholders meeting to take a definite stand on this act of wickedness against our members.

“We also unequivocally demand justice for our killed members, as justice remains the only way to peace. The entire Fulani herdsmen of this country are today paying the prize of coordinated campaign that had deliberately profiled them as perpetrators while they are the major victims,” Mafindi Danburam, North-east zonal chairman of MACBAN said.

Mr. Danburam spoke in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, after the burial of the victims of the attack.

The victims were buried in three different locations: Donada, Abbare and Jalingo the state capital.

While Mr. Danburam said a total of 24 people, including women and children were killed in the attacks, the police, said four people were killed.

The militia, who were said to have come from Adamawa, attacked Fulani communities of Babagasa, Donadda and Katibu in Lau Local Government Area. The council shares boundary with Adamawa State.

Mr. Danburam called on the federal government to “act fast” to apprehend the culprits and prevent further killings.

“Unfortunately, neither the state nor federal government utter a word over this heinous attack.

“The ethnic armed militia came to the villages brandishing guns and said their cows were stolen and started shooting and setting houses ablaze,” he said.

Also speaking, the state chairman of the group, Sahabi Tukur, alleged complicity.

“As I am talking to you now, over 25 people were killed mostly the aged, women and children including a one year old boy who was stabbed with arrow.

“This latest attack was a co-ordinated agenda to systematically wipe out the Fulani throughethnic cleansing.

“For God’s sake what justification do they have by attacking innocent people in Taraba? They had their crisis in Adamawa but they crossed over here and they were assisted by Yandangs?

“Not only that, 24 hours after the attacks, the state government still kept mute,’’ he said.

The Taraba State chairman of the committee on human rights abuses of the Nigerian Bar Association, Idris Jalo, who also spoke, said the Nigerian government needs to be proactive on the incessant attacks.

“It is with a heavy heart that we totally condemn the killings of over 25 people including women and children in Katibu and other villages in Lau Local Government Area.

“We therefore condemn in totality this barbaric act of cruelty against humanity and demand a clear action by the state and federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to protect lives.”

When contacted on phone on Saturday night, the spokesperson to Governor Darius Ishaku, Bala Dan Abu, said although he heard of the attacks, he was yet to get the details and so could not speak on it.
The police spokesperson in the state, David Misal, however, said no arrest has been made.

“No one is arrested though we are still getting details and gathering information that could help in tracking down the fleeing attackers,” he said.

“We warn people not to take laws into their hands, security are on top of the situation,” he said.

Mr. Misal said by police records, only four people were killed in the attack.

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