Wednesday, August 27, 2014

50 Nigerians Killed, Many Displaced in Nasarawa Clashes
Fulani herdsmen at the center of the clashes in Nasarawa State,
Written by Charles Coffie Gyamfi (Abeokuta) and Msugh Ityokura (Lafia)
Nigerian Guardian

Al-Makura-Jonathan, Obasanjo meet over insecurity

NO fewer than 50 lives were lost Wednesday at Tudun Adabu in Obi local council of Nasarawa State following the escalation of crises there. However, the state police spokesman, Ismaila Nuuman, said he was yet to ascertain the casualty figure.

   The crises took another dimension on allegations that the Alago ethnic nationality was supporting the Fulani, who are said to have started the war with the Eggon ethnic majority.

The fight originated at Assakio in Lafia but latter degenerated to Tudun Adabu yesterday, where scores have been killed, thousands displayed, homes torched and property worth millions of naira destroyed.

   Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan and former President Olusegun Obasanjo met early yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, over issues that border on the nation’s security.

   The visit, said to be on the invitation of President Jonathan, came barely two days after Chief Obasanjo commended the efforts of the federal and Lagos State governments to check the spread of Ebola Virus Disease in the country.

   It was also gathered that all the inhabitants of Assakio, Tudun Adabu and Dedere have deserted their abodes as a result of the crisis. Students of the Federal University, Lafia, which is close to Dedere, have also deserted their homes for fear of a possible invasion of the community, which hosts most of the students villages.

   A student simply identified as Jennifer told The Guardian that her compound has been taken over by fleeing women and children, thereby forcing them out of their houses.

   However, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members doing their primary assignments in Obi have relocated to Lafia, the state capital. NYSC State Coordinator, Mrs. Bolanji Olabanji, confirmed the members’ exit from their official abodes, though none of them was affected.

   Also yesterday, Governor Tanko Al-makura visited Wamba, Akwanga and Nasarawa Eggon local councils, which are also engulfed in the latest wave of violence, to ascertain the level of destruction. Equally of serious concern is the report by some of the displaced persons taking refuge in Lafia that some copses still laid on the streets.

   Confirming the meeting to newsmen shortly after his return to Abeokuta, Ogun State, yesterday, Obasanjo said it was purely on security matters. He appreciated Jonathan’s invitation and assured that he would continue to be available for national issues for peace and progress.

   On the Eggon/Fulani crisis in Nassarawa State, Obasanjo called on the Benue and Nassarawa states’ governments to ensure the restoration of peace to the warring communities. He appealed to the Eggon, who are predominantly farmers, and the Fulani, who are herders, to understand their differences. According to him, “there is no way such will not happen, but the two states’ governments should come up with lasting solutions.

   “The farmers would want their crops protected while the cattle men will want their cattle to feed. So, the government should fashion out peaceful means to end the crisis.”

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