Killer Herdsmen Strike Again In Taraba After Governor’s Warning

Killer herdsmen went on a fresh rampage in Taraba State Thursday night,10 hours after Governor Darius Ishaku raised the alarm that they were coming.

Four persons, including a couple, were murdered at Ngutwsem village in  Gassol local government area in the night attack.

The couple was identified as Mr. Shiriga Vaawombo and his wife, Ngunan.

A relation who witnessed the invasion said that as soon as Shiriga heard the first sound of gunshots, he took his wife to a place outside their house where he thought she could be safe.

“He was returning to pick their baby when the invaders shot him. His wife then cried out from where she was hiding. She was gunned down too,” he said.

Shiriga’s  second wife, Iveren, 35, was all tears, yesterday.

She was not at home during the invasion, having traveled to  Sabon Gida.

Some journalists including The Nation’s were in the village yesterday in the company of Ishaku’s media aide Bala Dan Abu, a senior assistant to the governor on Revenue Mobilisation, Jerry Tyolanga and three policemen.

The village was largely deserted, most residents taking to the bush to hide and fleeing to Sabon Gida.

No policeman was sighted in the area.

On seeing the journalists and the policemen, the hiding villagers came out and hurriedly used blunt diggers and hoes to dig two graves for the purpose of burying the victim.

The graves were shallow and there was no coffin to put the dead inside.

A cursory look at the bodies showed that after being shot, the assailants proceeded to cut them in the head, neck, and back with a machete to ensure that they had no chance of surviving.

The women cried uncontrollably.

Governor Ishaku had said on Thursday that he received a warning from some people that they would strike within 10 days

He said: “We are on notice that in 10 days, we (Taraba) shall be attacked. I have alerted all security agencies. We are waiting.”

“A helicopter has dropped arms and ammunition in the night without its mission established. It is not a time to keep quiet; we are living in fear,”

The governor spoke at 12:47 pm. The killer-herdsmen struck at 10:09 pm.

Simon Tsavwua, 45, a brother to one of the victims said he had gone to bed leaving some members of the household outside.

Suddenly, he heard gunshots repeatedly.

He knew they were under attack. He quickly ran outside and hid.

“The attackers were over 20,” he said.

“They wielded automatic rifles and machetes. But where I hid was close to where one of my brothers was killed. He cried before giving up. There was nothing I could do,” he said.

He said he and some of the family members ran further into the bush.

“When we returned to the scene later, we saw four people dead,” he said, displaying some of the bullets fired by the attackers.”

Sources said some of the militiamen were sighted in Sabon Gida, wearing masks, and armed.

“We are afraid,” one of the survivors said.