Kogi LG Administrator, Commissioner of Police, Ohimegye Igu, Condemn Tawari Attacks, Describes The Incidents As Disastrous And Heinous
By Yahaya Idris, Lokoja
An early morning attack on Tawari village in Kogi Local Government Area of Kogi state on Friday by unknown gunmen has left behind 23 persons dead.
Sources from Tawari village revealed that the attackers whom they alleged could be Fulani herdsmen, invaded the village at about 12 am on Friday, shooting sporadically setting houses, and churches ablaze.
Also touched were the only private clinic, Church established by the Missionaries in the Colonial era in 1952 and the official vehicle of the traditional ruler of the area, the Aguma of Tawari, Alhaji Idris Yusuf Tawari among other numerous property.
It was also confirmed that the APC Chairman Tawari ward, Ibrahim Simbabi, and the Chief Imam of the village, Mallam Zakari Salihu were gruesomely murdered during the unexpected attack.
Among those that lost their lives were 20 Bassa Kwomu and 3 Gbagyi men, while several others including some Policemen were reported to have sustained serious injuries and are presently receiving treatment at the Koton Karfe general hospital.
The Administrator of Kogi local government, Barr. Muhammed Tanko Musa Osuku, who visited the community to access the situation and condole the Traditional Ruler, the Aguma of Tawari, Alhaji Idris Yusuf Tawari described the killings as “wicked, Disastrous and heartless”.
The Administrator who in company of the state Police Commissioner, said that unidentified gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen attacked a Bassa Kwomu community in Tawari and killed over 20 young men aged between 20 and 40 years and above.
Tanko promised the residents that the council would work with relevant security agencies and volunteers to ensure that the perpetrators were arrested and prosecuted.
He directed the immediate evacuation of the survivors to Koton-Karfe Hospital for proper medical care, pledging that the council would settle the bill for the deceased burial.
He advised residents to report their problems to appropriate authority rather than taking the laws into their hands.
Also, Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ede Ayuba, appealed to the families of the victims not to take to reprisal, assuring them that efforts were on to apprehend the killers.
Earlier, the Aguma of Tawari, HRH, Alhaji Idris Yusuf Tawari told both the Administrator and Commissioner of Police that the attack was allegedly perpetrated by some Fulani people, adding that the attack started at about 12 midnight in the early hour of today (Friday) leading to gruesome murder of over 20 young men.
The Security agencies incharge of Kogi LG, the Police, SARS, Nigeria Army and civilian joint task force, confirmed the incident and said that they have since commenced full investigation into the matter.
Residents who were lucky to survive the raid, recalled that a year ago there was a problem between the Bassas Kwomu and the Nomads in the area over trespass into farmland, but was said to have been settled on the condition that the farmers will not burn the bush to enable their cattle feed on the grass.
When Unfortunately some unknown farmers or hunters reneged on the agreement and started burning the bush. The herders were said to have protested an action that did not go down well with farmers and that sparked physical combat that led to the death a young Fulani herdsman.
It was gathered that a truce was reached on condition that there would not be any reprisal or counter attack by both the farmers and herdsmen.
The farmers were said to have suspected strange movements of the Nomads as they were seen moving out of the area unceremoniously. Some didn’t suspect any danger coming as they believe it is the usual nomadic life of migration in search of greener pastures.
With the Friday early morning attack, it downed on them to point accusing finger to the migrated Fulanis, calling on the security agencies and the government to come to their aid.