16 May 2018

Nigeria: 31 Feared Killed, 50 Missing in Nasarawa State

Lafia — A protracted communal crisis between indigenes of Bassa and Egbura in Toto council area of Nasarawa Stare has claimed 31 lives persons with over 50 others missing.

During a press briefing yesterday in Lafia by the Bassa Cultural and Development Union (BCDU), it alleged that Egbura people were behind the ongoing killings as well as destruction of farms and houses in parts of the state.

The group's national president, Yusuf Wodi, regretted that it has been "two-week since the crisis started and 31 Bassa indigenes have been slaughtered by Egbura militia.

"It is incumbent on us as Bassa nation to call the attention of the world to the genocide going on in Toto local government area of Nasarawa State against the ethnic extraction.

"We are worried over the spate of killings and looting and the silence from the state government, Toto IMC chairman, the paramount ruler, the police after two weeks into the crisis."

The group claimed that the military, which ordinarily should defend defenceless, had been compromised.

He went on: "The military stationed in Toto has taken side with the Egbura because the militia who carry out the killings at Ugha, Kpana and Shebu villages appeared in army uniforms.

"It is on record that on May 2, 2018, all houses belonging to Bassa indigenes were completely razed down by the militia despite military presence in Toto".

The group noted that the root of the crisis was historical, adding that the latest killings were retaliation by Egbura indigenes repelled by the military to unleash mayhem on Kpanche village on April 22 this year.

"As we are here right now, fighting is ongoing in Bassa communities and nobody is doing anything to end the killings, kidnappings and destruction of houses and crops belonging to Bassa people," he added.

BCDU called on the Federal Government to deploy fair-minded security personnel to the council and dismantle the roadblocks allegedly mounted by the militia.

It further urged the state government to constitute a judicial panel of inquiry and declare a state of emergency in the council area.

The group also called on Governor Tanko Al-Makura to undertake a tour of the troubled areas.


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