- Wole Ayodele in Jalingo
No fewer than 10 people have been killed by unknown gunmen in communities in Takum and Ussa Local Government Areas of Taraba State.
The attacks, which occurred on Monday and Tuesday in Tati and Kwesati communities, left eight persons dead in Tati, a village in Takum while two persons were reportedly killed in Kwesati in Ussa area.
THISDAY gathered that the gunmen stormed the communities in their large numbers with sophisticated weapons and shot indiscriminately at the residents who were largely unarmed.
The attacks has shattered the relative peace currently being witnessed in troubled communities of the state brought about by the peace efforts of the state Governor, Darius Ishaku.
THISDAY furthers gathered that five out of the eight people killed at Tati were religious leaders thereby fuelling insinuations that the attackers come be fleeing members of the Boko Haram sect
An indigene of the area who spoke with THISDAY on condition of anonymity, ruled out the attackers being Fulani herdsmen insisting that they are members of Boko Haram from Borno or Yobe.
According to him, â€œWith what we saw, there is no doubt that the attackers are not Fulani herdsmen. We are suspecting them to be members of the Boko Haram from Borno or Yobe State.â€
The attacks have however paralysed business activities in Takum which is a commercial town while some of the residents, particularly Igbo traders and Fulaniâ€™s were said to be leaving the town in droves for fear of further attacks.
The Chairman of Ussa Local Government, Rimansikwe Hassan Karma, told journalists that the area would have been turned to a battle ground but for his timely intervention by pacifying the youths not to embark on reprisal attacks.
Karma, who commended the youths for not taking the laws into their hands, promised that security agencies are putting machineries in place to bring the culprits to book just as he urged those fleeing the area to return back.
The senator representing Taraba South, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, who raised the matter on the floor of the Senate yesterday under matters of urgent national importance, wondered why the activities of unknown gunmen have continued in the state without adequate response from the security operatives just as he disagreed that the attackers are Fulani herdsmen saying they are insurgents displaced from Borno state.
Confirming the attacks, the Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), David Misel, said the information presently available to the command is still very sketchy just as he promised that the command would address the press on the matter.