Tribal militia attack community, exhume graves in Taraba
……. They are ingrates who destroyed my home this morning- Council Chairman
Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The Mbaterem Community in Wukari local government of Taraba state on Thursday alleged that Jukun Militia under the directives of the local government Chairman Mr Daniel Adi Grace have attacked and demolished villages belonging to Tiv in the local government and reassigned their lands to his kinsmen.
In a press statement issued on Thursday, the group alleged that the some of the graves in the areas under contention have been exhumed and the bodies disposed of while economic trees in the area are also cut down.
The Chairman of the group Mr Haanongun Tar said that the essence of the release was “to draw the attention of the new Aku Uka, the executive governor and the general public to a dangerous time bomb being planted by Wukari LGA council Chairman Hon. Daniel Adigrace in the ongoing communal crisis in southern Taraba especially Wukari local government.
“Despite the efforts of His Excellency Gov Darius Dickson Ishaku to end the perennial crisis in the area, the local government chairman is working contrary to the directive of the executive governor by demarcating the ancestral land of the Tiv people in Wukari LGA and sharing it among some of his kinsmen. We want His Excellency to know that a very large portion of our land has been shared among some kinsmen of the LGA chairman as can be seen on beacons planted in our communities. The land spanning from ZegZeate, Ikyernum, Daa Ikyaayar Ikyo-gbolum, Tar Orshi, Tor-Musa down to Tor-Iorshaer located in three (3) different council wards including Tsukundi, Chonku and Rafin Kada, estimated to cover over 27KM square has been surveyed, designated as layout and shared among kinsmen of Hon. Adigrace.
“A bulldozer from the LGA chairman visited and demolished Tse-Atsenga a Tiv community located East of Wukari town between Wukari and Tsukundi. Economic trees were pulled down, graves excavated, corpses exhumed and remaining of buildings demolished. It is unthinkable to see that this great inhumanity to human is perpetrated by a people whom we co-existed for over centuries.
“We are calling upon the state and federal government to intervene before this brutality can reboot the crisis that has been lay to rest. Our ancestral homes such as Ikogbolun, Zegegeate, Daa and Ikyernum long Wukari Tsukundi road have been taking over by the Hon. Daniel Adigrace and his kinsmen”.
In a swift reaction however, the Council Chairman of Wukari local government area Mr Daniel Adi Grace said that the people are complete ingrates who went ahead to burn down his home and destroy his farm produce, despite his efforts to ensure their safety in the area.
Adi told our correspondent on phone that “this people are complete ingrates. My people burnt down my house because I was accommodating their people at the peak of the crisis. This morning, these same Tiv people came and burnt down my house. They started attacking our settlements immediately after the transition of our late Aku Uka. My people wanted to retaliate but I urged them to stop.
“Despite all of these efforts, they attacked and burnt my home just this morning. How do they expect to cohabit with others who no longer trust them because of their actions. It is sad and unfortunate” Adi said.
Our correspondent recall that Wukari and indeed, the better of Southern Taraba has been engulfed in serious ethnic crisis that has claimed thousands of lives and destroyed property worth several hundreds Millions of Naira.