Fulani Onslaught a Calculated Attempt to Annihilate Tivs – Abomtse

Posted: May 26, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

None less than Seventy-Five people including women and children have
been reportedly killed by Fulani invaders , with 33 villages and one
district sacked in three raids on the Tiv people of Gwer- West Local
government of Benue state. These attacks have been seen by many as a
calculated attack by neigbours of the Tiv people to wipe out the race
from the face of the earth.
According to the traditional ruler of Nagi kingdom of Gwer- West,
Chief Ayua Abomtse, in a media chat with journalists in Makurdi
recently exposed what he described as a grand scheme to extinguish the
Tiv race; he exposes those behind this grand scheme, the plan, the
casualties and the enemies within.
A Cordial Relationship Turned Sour
The Tiv of the Middle Belt of Nigeria and the Fulanis of Northern
Nigeria, have always had a relationship be it cordial or frosty.
History has it that the duo were once friends living together and all
tending cattle but when the Tiv decided to migrate to the middle belt,
they demanded for their share of the cattle to which they were obliged
their share. After the successful migration, the Tiv who are known for
their deep penchant for meat, upon the next meeting with the Fulanis
declared “munchi”, meaning “I have eaten it”, a name that has stuck
with them for years.
Unfortunately the once convivial relationship has become a vinegary
one almost at all points when these former bed mates meet, there tends
to arise a confrontation; this being the situation in Gwer- west Local
Government of Benue state since February,2011, when their first spar
happened.
By  February 8-10,2011, the Tiv farmers settled at the riverine areas
of Gwer-West local Government Area of Benue state raised alarms of
alleged attack on them by a horde of Fulani herdsmen who after an
altercation with the farmers over grazing and farmlands, returned
armed with sophisticated armory and in the ensuing brawl claimed 19
victims sacking 33 villages and homesteads, while destroying property
and farmlands worth millions.
The same scenario also played itself sometime later in March 4 which
actually coincided with the official visit of President Goodluck
Jonathan to the state, the Fulanis returned in their numbers battle
ready after the first attempt at war was quelled by military and armed
mobile policemen.Image The believed to be reason to be no different than
laying claim to land for grazing of their live stock mostly cattle.
This time around the clash claimed a total of 46 lives with the
dismissal of one major district and as usual disrupting commercial
activities in the area.Image
Most recently is the onslaught which is has been described as Abomtse
as an anihiliation attempt. Though as at the time of filling this
report the death count was 10, the fracas between these erstwhile
sociable neighbours, is still over no other reason but claim to land,
though strongly contested by the paramount ruler who is shouting foul
play on the part of Tiv neighbours and the government.
The Grand Plan
Although it is the general belief that the Fulani herdsmen attacks are
an arbitrary attack not premeditated or planned to vacate the Tiv from
their land, the traditional ruler of the Nagi people at various for a
has variously claimed that the attacks have been planned and executed
with the knowledge of certain government and traditional leaders in
participation.
He has claimed that the plan behind the attacks is to start from his
chiefdom from where the Fulani, after attacking and exterminating his
kingdom will proceed to the hinterlands. He further indicts the
government of Nassarawa state and her traditional ruler in a part he
suspects they play in the plot.
“ … as usual the Fulani marauders always have their roots from the
neighbouring  Local Governments in Nassarawa State especially Doma
Local Government. Beginning from Akpanaja  which can be accessed from
NASME in North Bank which is within 16 kilometres of the greater
Makurdi radius.Image From here these people attack my people. I have held
various talks with the traditional rulers and government of Nassarawa
with the aim of finding solutions but the all are playing lip service
to the issue because this is part of the plan”. He cried.
The traditional ruler in his verbal outburst did not spare the
government either. Chief Abomtse has decried the lack of attention
given the issue from the government quarters. According to him the
recent attack would have been averted if the state government had
taken serious a warning letter titled “Grand plan to annihilate Gwer
West People By Fulani Herdsmen and Their Mercenaries”, which he
addressed to the Benue state governor through the state security
Adviser, five days before the attack.
He has also accused the former Chairman of the Local Government, Hon
Ayande of negligence to the plight of the Nagi People he lead for over
six months while the crisis sustained. In his outburst, he also
decried the fact that Hon. Ayande had variously received huge sums of
money for this cause without translating such monies to succor.
Chief Abomtse has also laid blame on the Federal House of
Representatives, who according to him have played lip service to the
issue. He decried the fact that the House had sent a delegation  to
the site where these actions were carried out but nothing has come out
of that visit even after he had prepared a brochure detailing the
subsequent attempts on his people.
A Cry for Help
As at the time of talking with the paramount ruler, the war had
already claimed 46 victims while it continued. Speaking to our
correspondent, Mr. John Igbor, a victim of the onslaught, noted that
his community Tse-Kpa village of Sengev district had lost 24 lives
while every homestead was utterly destroyed. He narrated that the
Fulani had attacked them at the wee hours of the morning when they
were preparing to go to work or church as the case may be. He further
noted that the attackers had come dressed in military attire and
carried out the action in swift military manner, to which he guessed
their assailants must have been military men.
 Also condemning the act in a summit, tagged Tyoshin Summit, convened
by Dr. Felix Gbilah a leading politician in the area, traditional
rulers and leaders of the Tyoshin community, in a strong worded
communiqué signed by 30 of them , have also plead that security agents
be drafted in urgency to forestall further bloodshed. Also on their
list of resolves, that the national assembly makes public the findings
on Benue-Fulani crisis as mandated the Hon. Samson Osagie committee.
It also prays the implementation of the recommendations contained in
the Joint Committee on Communal Clashes between Fulani and Tiv Farmers
at the border communities of Benue and Nassarawa state which was
constituted in June 2011.

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