No fewer than four Tiv villagers were killed in Ngutswen village, near Wurojam in Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State, barely 9 hours after Governor Darius Ishaku raised alarm over a plot to attack the state by Fulani herdsmen.
Ishaku had on Thursday while playing host to the National Working Committee of the People’s Democratic Party, led by the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said he received notice of an attack on the state which, according to a letter he received from an undisclosed source, would happen within 10 days.
Speaking to journalists at the site of the burial of the four victims of the attack in Ngutswen village, a community leader, Mr. Tyav Ngutswen, said his people were sleeping when the Fulani herdsmen struck in the village at about 10:09 pm.
Tyav said some cows belonging to Alhaji Dapel Lolo and one Alhaji Buruti had a week ago invaded their farms and caused serious damage.
“We caught 12 of their cows that eat our crops and handed over to them peacefully, but we demanded a compensation of N40,000 which they reluctantly paid, but threatened to attack us.
“I can confirm to you that among the over 20 of them (herdsmen), that attacked us, Alhaji Buruti’s sons were among them.
“We can’t stay here because there is no security, that’s why we are rushing to conduct the burial and leave before it gets dark,” he said.
Lamenting the killings, Chairman Tiv Cultural and Social Association in Gassol LGA, Mr. Zachariah Akaater, said since 2016 over 40 Tiv farmers have been killed in the area, with 10 deaths recorded early this year at various dates and locations.
“What they (Fulani herdsmen) have repeatedly told us is that governor Darius Ishaku has enacted anti-open grazing law because of Tiv people and as such, they will not allow the Tiv people to rest.
“There are a lot of strange people in our midst today. Some these people attacking us migrated recently from Zamfara and other places into Taraba.
“We have been living in this area for over 100 years, but what we are witnessing today is so strange. We want to call on the government to look into these killings and provide security for us to return to our villages,” he said.
Police public relations officer in Taraba, ASP David Misal, confirmed the killing of four persons in Ngutswen village but promised to get back with more details at the time of filing this report.