Death toll in Taraba violence rises to 18

The police command in Taraba on Friday said death toll from the crisis between the Fulani and Mambilla ethnic groups in Sardauna Local Government Area of the state had risen from seven to 18.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Yakubu Babas, disclosed this at a press conference in Jalingo, the state capital.

Mr. Babas noted that the police and other security agencies had deployed enough officials to the area to ensure protection of lives and property.

He said two persons had so far been arrested in connection with the crisis.

The commissioner warned that “nobody is untouchable no matter how highly placed.”

“Investigation machinery are already in motion to dig deep and unearth those behind the ungodly acts to book,” he said.

Mr. Babas said the remote cause of the crisis was the disagreement between the Fulanis and the Mambillas over land which the state government had set up a commission of inquiry to look into it.

He, however, added that the immediate cause was a court case among people of the two tribes over the same land issue.

He appealed to the people of the Mambilla Plateau to eschew violence and embrace peace to attract development to the area.

Earlier on Thursday, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo condoled the victims of the attack.

He also outrightly condemned the acts of violence, adding that perpetrators of the attack would be brought to book.

“Acting President Osinbajo has therefore ordered the deployment of an extra military battalion, police reinforcements and also a deployment of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to the areas affected,” his spokesperson, Laolu Akande, said.

“Equally the Acting President has ordered the provision of relief materials to be delivered to the affected communities in Toffi, Mayo Daga, Mayo Sina, Tamiya, Kwara-Kwara, Tungan Lugere, Timjire, Nguroje and other villages in the hinterlands of Mambilla Plateau.”

Mr. Akande also said the federal government has put in motion long time solutions including mediation between opposing groups in the communal conflict.

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