TARABA CRISIS: "They Killed 4 Of My Sons Because A Cow Damaged A Phone" - Victim
It is generally said that no one is above the law, but the people of Mumuye community in Taraba state have allegedly taken the laws into their hands.
It was a ‘minor’ disagreement between Mumuye and Fulani communities both in Yorro Local Government Area of Taraba State.
An attack was allegedly carried out by Mumuye community with Hamman Adama losing four of his sons among nine Fulani community residents killed.
They had lived together with people of Mumuye for several decades and they never had any misunderstanding, until recently when some strange people reportedly came and instigated attacks.
They were reportedly attacked by armed men from Mummuye Community.
Adama says that the attack was well planned and executed by the elite of the Mumuye tribe.
He disclosed that on that fateful day, he noticed there was unusual movement of people in the area and some of the people he saw there were strangers brought in from different places.
According to him, there was no misunderstanding between Fulani in the area and their neighbours, in Mumuye.
Adama further said that while going to Pantisawa town at 1pm on that day, he noticed that all the people from the Mumuye tribe in the villages along the road were in war mood, with many of them carrying bows and arrows and some holding guns.
He said he was wondering what his neighbours were up to until one of his sons, Jibril, put a distress call, informing him that the Mumuye people had surrounded their houses.
According to him, when he got to his community, he met hundreds of Mumuye men and other strange persons who were armed with bows, arrows and guns.
When he approached them, he was told that his cow damaged a phone belonging to one of them.
“Immediately, I realised that the story of a cow damaging a phone was cooked up to justify an attack on our Fulani community.”
However, when he approached Mumuye elders to intervene, it was agreed that a new phone would be provided as a solution to the impending face-off.
He immediately headed back to Pantisawa to report the matter to the chief of Mumuye, Alhaji Ado Mazan, the local government council chairman and the Police Divisional Officer (DPO).
“On reaching Pantisawa I informed the Sarkin Fulani, Alhaji Abubakar Bello and chief of Mumuye about the situation in our community, and he immediately rushed to the police divisional headquarters to inform the DPO. To our surprise, the DPO refused to take action, even when there was another distress call received in his office, that Mumuye people were about to attack the Fulani community.
“We even offered to fuel police vehicles in order to convey policemen to our community, but the DPO refused to act. At this point, another distress call came from one of my sons, that they would be killed if there was further delay.”
At about 7pm, one of his sons, Inusa, who luckily escaped through the mountain, informed him that all his brothers were killed.
Adama said he saw people from Jalingo, Pupule and other surrounding villages among the attackers.
“In fact, some people I know were among the attackers.
“We all agreed to provide a new phone and l rushed to Pantisawa to inform the chief of Mumuye and the police.
“But before l came back, six persons were hacked to death, and four out of the six are my sons,” he said.
Also speaking, the Sarkin Fulani of Yorro and a title holder in Mumuye chiefdom, Abubakar Bello, said the Fulani community knew it was not true that a phone was damaged, but they agreed to buy a new one so as to put the matter to rest.
He wondered why the people of Mumuye breached the agreement and killed innocent persons.
He said bodies of the dead victims were conveyed to Jalingo and buried while the entire Fulani community fled and are taking refuge in Jalingo and other places.
Bello Lamented that there was no statement from the Taraba State Government to condemn the killing.
“Several members of our community, including women and children, were affected, but the government did not care to provide any relief for victims who were forced to flee their homes,” he said.
When contacted, the special assistant to Governor Darius Ishaku on media affairs, Mr. Bala Dan Abu, said he was not aware of the killing.
A brother to one of the victims, Mallam Faruk Aliyu, said it was unfortunate that killings were being encouraged in parts of Taraba State.
He alleged that those arrested were forcefully released from police facilities.
He said in Yorro, three suspects were arrested in connection with the killing of a Fulani man, but Mumuye people invaded the police station and freed the suspects.
He further alleged that in Zing town, the people of Mumuye invaded a police station and a magistrate’s court and burnt them down, simply because some suspects were arrested.
He alleged that those in government were encouraging some ethnic groups to live above the law.
When contacted, the police public Relations officer (PPRO) ASP David Misal, confirmed the attack in Yorro, saying that five people have been arrested in connection with incident.
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