Death toll in the recent clash between Fulani herdsmen and Taroh natives in Dompar and Kurmin Dashe villages in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State has risen to 27, as four more corpses were recovered in the area. This is coming at a time when villagers blocked the road linking Langtang to Wasa, including the Maslamum Bridge.
It was learnt that two corpses of unidentified persons were discovered on Thursday night behind the famous Wase rock, as two other people were killed on Langtang North-Wase road. Though security agents are maintaining sealed lips on the number of casualties, inside source said a driver, who narrowly escaped death, saw corpses on the road. There are, however, conflicting reports on those responsible for the killing of the commuters on the road.
According to the senator representing Plateau South in the National Assembly, Senator Victor Lar, some armed robbers stopped people returning from a local market, Wadatan Kasuwa, and robbed them. The victims include Fulanis and others. He disclosed that there was resistance and the armed robbers shot two Fulanis dead, stressing that they were not killed by Taroh people, but by the armed robbers.
The senator pointed out that there were reported cases of armed robbery, most especially on market days in Wase Local Government council; adding: “If it were the Taroh people who killed the Fulanis, how come some Fulani men, who escaped from the hands of the armed robbers are taking refuge in the houses of Taroh people in the area?” He, however, confirmed that without fear of any contradiction, tension is mounting in the area, as a result of misinformation.
National Secretary of Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Sale Bayari, however, told journalists that the killing of the two Fulanis was not a case of armed robbery, as the victims were in a public transport with Hausas and Jukuns going to Taraba State when they were picked out and slaughtered. Speaking on the causes of the skirmishes between the two tribes, Bayare said if the corpse of a Taroh man was discovered, there was nothing to suggest that it was a Fulani man that killed him.
He condemned the way natives attack and kill Fulani men at sight. Bayari revealed that with the new development, both the Fulani and the natives are moving out of Wadata village en-mass, as tension has enveloped the area for fear of possible reprisals in the area. Efforts to get the management committee chairman of Wase Local Government Council for comments proved abortive, as his mobile phone appeared to have been switched off since the problem began. The senator representing the zone condemned the new development and lamented that the people who have been co-existing peacefully in the last seven years have again been brought to war through misinformation.
He however, said the Langtang sector commander of the special task force (STF) on Jos is on top of the situation while calling on the people of the area to go about their lawful duties. He promised that that government would not leave any stone unturned in bringing the perpetrators of the heinous act to book. He disclosed that he has spoken with the Emir of Wase who has given assurance that everything is being done to bring normalcy to the area.
In another development, a community leader, in Mangu Local Government Council of the state was alleged have been arrested for being in possession of five human heads. According to a source, soldiers arrived the area yesterday, in response to distress call by a member of the community on alleged attack by unknown persons. It was in the process of policing the area that the said community leader was arrested. National Secretary of MACBAN, Sale Bayari, when contacted on this development, said he was not aware of it. He said Fulanis are not known for severing human heads and going about with them.
Meanwhile, the Plateau State government has condemned the recent resurgence of violent attacks in some parts of the state. The state Commissioner for Information, Pastor Abraham Yiljab, in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday in Jos, said these recent unprovoked attacks have resulted in the loss of many lives, especially and caused pain among the people.