By Rabiu Omaku
The people of Takalafiya community and Gwanja in Karu Local Government were in a mournful mood following the mass burial of thirty eight (38) people including women and children killed by Fulani herdsmen.
The Deputy Governor of Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, who led government delegation to the mass burial, condemned in strong terms the wanton killings and destruction of property worth millions of naira.
He expressed shock over the killings, saying Government will investigate the causes of the attacks, and will brought the perpetrators to book.
He assured that the State Government will provide relief materials to the displaced victims as he encouraged the communities to give credible information to the relevant authorities.
The Pastor in-charge of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Rev. Daniel Danbeki and others, were gruesomely murdered by the assailants during the attack on Thursday night which lasted till early hours of Friday May 12.
Neighbouring communities such as Gwanja, Angwan Bege, Angwan Madaki and Gidan Allah, occupied predominantly by Gwandara, Mada and Yeskwa tribes, were also attacked by the killer herdsmen.
The Executive Chairman of Karu Local Governnent Area, Mr James Thomas, who visited the attacked communities before the mass burial, condemned the attack in totality.
Thomas, represented by his Deputy, Lawal Yakubu Karshi, appealed for calm and also vowed to arrest the perpetrators in order to face the full wrath of the law.
Our correspondent gathered that the attack was a result of the routine disagreement between farmers and herdsmen who grazed on the farm of a Local and ate his newly planted crops (groundnut and maize).
“As the farmer was talking to the Fulani to send his herds out of his farm, a fierce disagreement ensued and the Fulani boy brought out his cutlass and started fighting the farmer; but the farmer overpowered the Fulani, snatched his cutlass and fought him back and the Fulani died instantly” he said.
It was gathered that the incident happened in Gwanja community, near Takalafiya, two weeks ago and the authority of Karu Local Government Area intervened and the matter was settled amicably, only for the herdsmen to regrove and attacked Gwanja community, killing four instantly on Thursday, 11th May, 2023.
According to a source from the community, when the herdsmen discovered that some residents of Gwanja community fled to Takalafiya, they launched an attack on the community and killed people mercilessly on Friday, 12th May, 2023.
“In the early hours of Friday, around 4am the people of the community were pannicked when they discovered a very strange dog roaming the streets of Takalafiya, with huge charms round its neck, they mobilised and killed the dog”
“After they succeeded in killing the dog, as they clustered around it wondering where it came from, then the herdsmen started shooting guns sporadically around the community and that was how many residents were killed” he said.
As at the time of filling this report, it was gathered that eleven death bodies brought in from Takalafiya and other communities were deposited at the mortuary of Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Keffi, with many others still at large.