***Kuteb Ethnic Group Alleges Genocide, as Over 300 Killed in 50 Villages By Bandits
*** Generations Risk Being Wiped out through Ethno-Religious Crisis ***
By: Samuel Uhuru Adaji in Jalingo with additional Reports.
Taraba state is perhaps home to greater number if ethnic nationalities than any State in Nigeria, and it is also the hub of farming.
Irrespective of tribe, Tarsbans are known to produce more yams and rice than any people in the Northern region.
But their ethnic multiplicity is becoming a curse, and their farming vocation is turning into a nightmare.
This is owing to the fact that, the area area known as Taraba State today is also a meltingpot for ethno-religious crisis long before it was curved out of the defunct Gongola State in 1991.
The story of inter tribal skirmishes between the Jukuns and Kutebs, the Tivs and Kutebs, the Fulani and other indigent tribes or the Chamba and the Jukun, amongst other related crisis are historical facts.
Most of the crises of the past have often been widely reported in the media, while the current situation appears to being downplayed in the media.
Depending upon where ones sympathy lies, people will tend to lay blames at the doors of their adversaries, to the effect that no one can say with any measure of balance, who the agressors and who the victims are.
This crisis, which the locals alleged is being deliberately underplayed portends more serious and pathetic situation, threatens to undermine the survival of local communities, with consequent threats of extinction.
Our correspondent has been on the trails if developments in the affected areas of Taraba state, and reports that, about 54 villages have been completely sacked by marauding arm Fulani bandits and the entirety of their citizens displaced.
Most affected areas are either in Ussa, Bali or Gassol Local Government Areas, Where houses and worship places have been pulled down . Indigent farmers are being ambushed and killed almost on daily basis, with over 300 them killed so far, even as their crops have been destroyed.
Only last week, three big settlement’s were attacked with eighteen people killed and many others unaccounted for to date.
The attacks which have been described as a daily occurrence by fleeing residents is very well known to the authorities, but the Government does not seem to be saying anything, neither does security agencies posted to secure the affected areas.
President of Kuteb Yafo of Nigeria, Comrade Emma Ukwem , told National TRAIL that, no succour seems to be coming the way of thousands of victims who fled from the orgy of violence.
“No relief materials are given to our people.The bandits normally come in their hundreds well armed to kill and go back without any form of challenge”, he added.
While lamenting that those arrested by the Army turned out to be Fulani’s and we’re immediately released, Comrade Emma Ukwem said there has never been any form of reaction from the State Government since the massacre started.
“As far as we know there has never been any visit from ay Government official, and there was never any official statement on the plight of the Kuteb people. The Fulani bandits operate at will without any form of challenge”.
Ukwem was of the opinion that there seems to be a grand conspiracy against the Kuteb nation with the intent to wipe them off from the state, even as he alleged that, a particular ethnic group may be masterminding the attacks.
Member, representing Ussa Constituency in the Taraba state House of Assembly Honorable Habila Anderifun in a statement obtained by National TRAIL on Monday said, his Constituency is still under siege, as reports reaching him indicated that attacks were going on while he was issuing the statement.
He said, “Ussa Local Government area of Taraba State has been under siege by Fulani bandits and their Cohorts since April this Year.
Today being Monday 19th September 2022, three villages have been razed down, five people killed and Farm products worth millions of naira destroyed.”
“Humanitarian crisis has risen to an unimaginable level with outbreak of diseases.I want to call on both the State Government and Federal Government to come to our help. Our people are being killed daily yet no protection from the Government.”
“We appeal to the Federal Government to send Military as a matter of urgency to protect the people of Ussa from this act of genocide. People whose farm products are ready for harvest can not go to farm for fear of being killed. So far about 120 people have been killed since April this year”, the lawmaker observed.
According to him, a committee has been set up to look into the matter, and they are hoping for a cessation of hostilities against their people, but something urgent must be done in the meantime.
” I am appealing for both Military and Food as well as medical support for our people.Hon Anderifun, added.
As at time of filling this report, a formal pronunciation from the Taraba State Government, through the peace committee was still being expected.