Information at the disposal of EkoHotBlog indicates that at least sixteen people are feared dead in what has been described as fierce warfare between Tiv and Jukun tribes in Kente village, Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State. The high casualty figure, which has resulted also in many fleeing their homes, is exclusive of millions of naira in properties destroyed.
So bad was the crisis that Adi Daniel, Executive Chairman of Wukari Local Government Council, said he escaped death by the whiskers himself, confirming that 16 people had been killed and over five hundred others displaced since the crisis began on Thursday.
“There’re still people that have not been accounted for,” Daniel began, adding: “They attacked my convoy when I visited the area, they burnt three cars in my convoy and went killing people and mounting roadblocks in the bush killing people.”
Speaking further with SaharaReporters, he said trouble started on Monday when Tiv youth ordered their women not to patronise markets within the Jukun communities on the borderline between Benue and Taraba states.
“About three days ago, Tiv people from Benue State came and said their women should not bring their wares to markets where our people (Jukun) are living on allegation that Jukuns are backing Fulani people to attack them.
“One woman who defied their order and brought yams to the market for sale was molested by Tiv youth; the action sparked reprisal from Jukun youth because they were against the action of the Tiv youth.
“But I have since reached out to the Chairman of Ukum Local Government in the neighbouring Benue State and the Security Adviser to the Benue State Governor, and we are making efforts to stop the escalation of the crisis. I have visited the area where the crisis started with the Chairman and we have all agreed to talk to our people to give peace a chance.”
He, however, noted that security personnel have been drafted to keep peace in the area. “We have enough security; everywhere is peaceful now, except for the gorilla attacks being employed by the Tiv militia,” he noted
- David Misal, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), confirmed the incident, although he refused to confirm the casualty figures or damage recorded in the crisis. “The situation has been brought under control, no more tension at the moment.”