Gunmen, believed to be Fulani Herdsmen, have killed 15 people and sacked more than 30 Kuteb villages in Ussa, Takum, and Yangtu Local Government Areas of Taraba State.
Eyewitness reports say the over 30 sacked villages, occupied mainly by the Kuteb ethnic group, are now mere shadows of themselves as most of the villagers have fled for their lives.
In Ussa the affected villages include Asik, konkaen, fangte, Kujwaen, Kicha, and Kusansang.
In Takum, the affected villages are Basank, Muji 1 and 2, Fawen, Tati, Flashing, Rikwen Tumu, Rikwen Ewum, and Tswen 1 and 2.
In Yangtu, the villages wiped out include Jenuwa Koji, Kwari, Boi, Kpaw, Kwambai, Nyife, Ruwa, and Nyiewu.
According to Taraba News, the over 30 sacked villages are currently as quiet as graveyards.
Reacting to the incident, President and founder of Southern Taraba Youths Coalition for Peace (STYCOP), Amb. Rikwense Muri, described as abnormal, the Taraba State Government’s silence on what he described as the selective killings.
Muri alleged that Gov Ishaku was silent over the killings of the Kuteb people because they did not support him in his senate election bid.
He said, “It should be noted that Darius had threatened Kuteb chiefs whom he appointed in new Chiefdoms which he created to canvass for votes for him or lose their stools.
“These chiefs are said to have tried their best with video evidences but the Kuteb Nation still voted against him and stopped his senatorial ambition.
“I have every reason to believe the narrative that he is the sponsor of these armed militias who are killing my people and destroying our communities to sabotage our population rate in the forthcoming census.
“If not, the silence of the state government and the selective nature of the killings against the Kuteb people is not normal.
“There is a God in heaven who will defend our land for us. We shall come out stronger. We will win this war against these evil forces of darkness in our land by the grace of the Almighty God.”
Muri said all that the Kuteb people wanted were security, equity, justice, peace, and development in their land, but regretted that they wake up daily to see the reverse of things under the current administration.
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning,” he added.
Periscope International reports that the killings have prompted the resignation of Ussa Council chairperson, Abershi Musa, from office.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Taraba State Government on the attacks and killings proved abortive as of the time of filing this report.