Nigeria

Gunmen kill four IDP returnees in Taraba

Gunmen on Saturday night, opened fire on returnee internally displaced persons (IDPs) at Tor-Iorshaegh in Wukari local government area of Taraba State, killing four persons in the process.

An eyewitness, Mr Donald Meer, told our correspondent on the phone that he narrowly escaped death from the gunmen who according to him are suspected to be Jukun militia.

Meer said those killed are Godwin Meer, Terlumun Mdooga, Mbakpenev, and Alfred Sylvanus Mchivga.

Another eyewitness, Mr Ayar Chia, said the attackers fled the scene in two vehicles before the arrival of the soldiers stationed in the area.

Our correspondent reports that the villagers who fled the Jukun/Tiv crisis had returned to the area last Thursday in line with the peace initiative directive of Governor Darius Ishaku after about one year and seven months in the IDP camps.

Mr Joshua Ayagwa, President General, Tiv Cultural and Social Association, Taraba State, while reacting to the incident, called on Governor Ishaku to provide security for the IDP returnees, saying the incident was capable of damaging the reputation of his administration.

However, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP. David Misal did not pick calls made to his cell phone for confirmation. He also did not reply to a text message sent to him.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Tiv Traditional Council and The Ter Tiv Bali, Zaki David Gbaa, has condemned the attack and killing of the Tiv IDP returnees in Wukari local government.

Gbaa told our correspondent in a telephone interview that the attack and killing was a serious set back to the peace initiative of Governor Darius Ishaku who has been preaching peaceful coexistence and called on the security agencies to investigate the attack with a view to apprehending the perpetrators of the heinous attack.

“It is unthinkable that the vulnerable IDP returnees would be attacked and murdered in cold blood when the governor himself has called on the people who fled the crisis to return.

“Till date, the people in Suntai in Bali local government and those from Donga and parts of Wukari and Ibi local government areas are yet to return and this is not good for any peace process,” he said.

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