• Investigate killings, ACF tells FG

From Noah Ebije, Kaduna

Tiv community in Nasarawa has called on the federal and state governments to intervene in ongoing attacks and killings of innocent Tiv people by armed herdsmen across the southern part of the state.

President, Tiv Development Association (TIDA) in Nassrawa State, Peter Ahemba, made the call, at the weekend, while speaking with newsmen in Lafia, the state capital.

He alleged that Tiv people had been targeted and singled out for attacks by armed herdsmen in what appeared a reprisal following an airstrike by the Air Force that claimed the lives of scores of indigenes in the area.

Ahemba said scores of innocent Tiv farmers have so far been murdered and displaced from their communities across Doma, Keana and Obi local government areas of the state. 

The TIDA president described the attacks on Tiv farmers as barbaric, noting that the Tiv people knew nothing about the recent airstrike at the borders of Nasarawa and Benue states which he claimed was being used as reason for the massive killing of Tiv farmers and destruction of their property.

“We call on the federal and state governments to come to our aid by deploying adequate security operatives to our settlements in the affected councils. Our people are still trapped and all escape roots blocked by the herders, who are now slaughtering them like animals,” he said. 

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According to him, intelligence report at the disposal of TIDA leadership indicated that armed herders were mobilising to launch more deadly attacks on Tiv settlements across the southern zone and parts of Kokona and Nasarawa local governments ensure total extermination of the Tiv nation.

Meanwhile, Area Consultative Forum (ACF) has called on the Federal Government to investigate the killings of over 50 pastoralists and butchers around Doma, Nasarawa State.

In a statement, yesterday, the ACF Secretary General, Murtala Aliyu, said circumstances surrounding the killing of the pastoralists called for thorough investigation, adding : “In a serious country, the death of one person is enough to attract the attention and intervention of the government.

“ACF is calling on the Federal Government to conduct an investigation surrounding the murder of over 50 pastoralists and butchers around Doma, Nasarawa State by a purported drone strike on January 25, 2023. To our knowledge, only government has the power to deploy armed drones.

“The circumstances surrounding the killing of pastoralists, who went to Makurdi, the Benue State capital to retrieve 1,250 impounded cattle from the Benue Livestock guards after paying a fine of N29 million to guards only to be killed by unknown people call for thorough investigation.

“Sources told the ACF that drone strike happened while the livestock were being offloaded after the owners were forced to take back their cattle in trucks from Makurdi.

“This incident came barely six months after a similar incident in which hundreds of livestock were killed when a helicopter gunship belonging to the Nigerian Air Force from the Makurdi Base Operation carried out the strike killing and wounding the animals and some herders in Awe also in Nasarawa State. The Nigerian air space is managed by the Federal Government through the Nigerian Airspace Management Authority (NAMA). 

“We expect the Federal Government to immediately fish out the perpetrators of this dastardly act, whoever they are to face the law. We, however, wish to commend the Nasarawa State government for the intervention they made so far in giving medical attention and support to survivors and the victims’ family. We called for adequate compensation to be paid to the families of the victims.”