Many people have been killed in attacks on Hausa community in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, according to community leaders.
The Sarkin Hausawa of Makurdi, Alhaji Bello Sallau Abdurrahman, said eight people were killed, 11 missing, and over 20 injured, while several shops were razed in the attack by Tiv youths on the community.
He told Daily Trust on phone yesterday that “Last Tuesday, we saw our people running helter-skelter in the city that they brought the corpses of Church priests that were killed at Dukwayango village and then suddenly Tiv youth started attacking our people. As am talking to you they have killed over eight people, over 20 sustained injuries and several shops were razed while over eleven people were missing”.
Abdurrahaman said Hausa residents were living in fear.
He wondered why Hausa people should be targeted since they were not the herders that allegedly attacked some communities in the state.
“We are not famers, we don’t rear animals. We are just traders. These things happened in villages and in the bushes, why are Tiv youth killing our people,” he said.
Abdurrahaman said he has asked his people not to take arms against anybody, even as he called on the Federal Government to respond quickly before the crisis escalates to parts of the state.
The chief Imam of Izala mosque in Makurdi, Sheikh Shu’aibu, told the BBC Hausa service that he personally saw the corpses of 27 victims at the teaching hospital in Makurdi.
He said while many were injured, some were burnt.
Sheikh Shu’aibu however said calm has returned.
Police react to report
Police in the state have urged members of the public to disregard the information being circulated that four mosques were set ablaze in Makurdi metropolis by some hoodlums.
The police said similar information being circulated that another church was attacked by bandits at Agana village in Mbaloh Ward of Gwer East Local Government Area of the state was not true.
A press statement issued last night by the command spokesman, ASP Moses Yamu, said, “These are nothing but falsehood, believably meant to cause break down of law and order in the state.
“It is indeed a difficult period. However, acts of insurgency being witnessed lately have nothing to do with religion, ethnic or political alienation. Therefore, in order to overcome the ongoing security challenges, the collaboration of all is required.”
Yamu further stated that the command appreciate the calmness and understanding of the resident in the state as he appealed that criminal elements should not be allowed to cause any civil disturbance to achieve their selfish interest.
Tension in Gboko
Meanwhile, a resident of Gboko told Daily Trust on telephone last night that there was tension in the town as a result of fears of reprisal by residents.
The resident, who did not want to be named, said for some time now, people of the area have been enjoying peaceful atmosphere but for the tension.
However, the source added that there was more to the attacks in some communities of Benue State where scores were reportedly killed recently.
“Everybody is surprised because there are no Fulanis in those areas that attacks were carried out. In fact, no Fulani man will go there because of fear. By the way, there’s no way a Fulani man will go there without being noticed because of the way the communities are,” the source added