Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja

The Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello on Thursday met with Tawari community and promised to fished out the killers of their kinsmen as casualty figure rises to 29.

Governor Bello who held a peace meeting at the Government House Lokoja, on Thursday with the paramount rulers and people of the Tawari communities, called for calm saying government is working hard to restore permanent peace in the area.

According to him, the casualty figures had risen to 29 persons as more deaths were recorded in other communities within the district.

Bello who acknowledged the peaceful disposition of the Tawari people, said the attack took place when there was no provocation, stressing that his administration will leave no stone unturned in unravelling those behind the dastard acts against the communities.

He noted that government on receipt of the distress call acted proactively by drafting security personnel to secure the communities and to provide palliative measures for the people.

He added that his government would not fold its arms and watch bandits and terrorists unleash mayhem on his people, insisting that he will adopt security measures that will be mobile and effective to deal with any security challenges across the state.

He explained that the same methods that worked in Dekina, Bassa and Omala local government areas, when they were attacked, will be replicated in Tawari to bring lasting a solution to insecurity in the area.

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He promised to adopt community police to complement the activities of the conventional police whom he said were being overwhelmed with inadequate manpower and lack of knowledge of the local communities.

He urged the traditional rulers, youth groups and opinion moulders in communities across the state to join hands with the government to ensure the success of the new security architecture to rid the state of criminals and people with predatory tendencies.

The governor, however, directed the youth leader and the critical stakeholders of the communities to furnish his office within 24- 48 hours of the level of damage done to individuals for monetary compensation.

Earlier, the youth leader of the Tawari communities which comprises of four villages, Mr Gabriel Ndazago, said the initial figure of 24 deaths was recorded in Towari village while five other bodies were picked up from three other communities making it 29 deaths.

He appealed to the government to establish and strengthen the local vigilantes which according to him have the commitment and competence to deal with security infractions within their communities.

He lamented the frequent killings and kidnapping of Tawari people even in their homes and on their farms with consequences of payment of humongous ransom and in some cases killing of the victims for failing to meet their demands, adding that the 2nd January, 2020 attack was the climax of the gruesome murders of his people.

In his remark, the Aguma of Bassa and paramount ruler of Tawari, Alhaji Idris Alhassan Yusuf, commended the government for the prompt response to the crisis and pledge the loyalty of his people to the government and its policies.

He appealed to the government to establish permanent security outpost in the area, reconstruct the damaged infrastructures, open up the roads to the villages and to provide adequate medicaments for the injured who are receiving treatments in various hospitals and clinics within the area.