Wole Ayodele in Jalingo
Four members of a family were wednesday killed by herdsmen at Mbiya village in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State.
The attack, which occurred in the early hours of yesterday, left the entire village razed down by the herdsmen.
Confirming the incident to journalists in a telephone interview, the Chairman of the local government area, Shiban Tikari, said only the nine-month-old infant of the family of five survived the attack.
Shiban, who stated that the survival of the nine-month-old baby was mysterious, told journalists that the attackers stormed the village at about 2a.m. and slaughtered the four family members in their sleep.
â€œWe heard gunshots around 1a.m. on Takum -Ussa road and while we were making efforts to mobilise police men to the area, we heard sporadic gunshots at Mbiya Central, a community just at the outskirt of Takum town here.
â€œBy the time we got there, a family of five; a man, his wife and two children, were slaughtered like chickens. A baby mysteriously survived the attack.
â€œThe attackers whom we suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, also attacked Basam, a village close to Gen. T.Y. Danjumaâ€™s farm and set the whole village ablaze,â€ he said.
The chairman, who lamented the killings, wondered how the attackers were able to carry out their dastardly act in the area despite the extension of Exercise Ayem Akpatuma (Cat Race) in the area.
Expressing displeasure over the mode of operation of the army in the area, Tikari stated that rather than comb the bushes in the villages to flush out the attackers, they are busy brutalising his people in the town, saying the army exercise is not yielding the desired result.
Also confirming the incident, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), David Misal, said the casualty figure is still unclear but promised to make it available as soon as it is available.
In the same vein, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Darius Ishaku on Media and Publicity, Bala Dan Abu, who equally confirmed the attack, gave the name of the deceased head of the family as Sunday Sabo.
Abu in a statement made available to journalists said the attackers numbered over 20.
Takum is the home town of Danjuma who accused the army penultimate weekend of colluding with armed men to kill people, as well as Governor Darius Ishaku.