The Tiv Development Association (TIDA) says the security agents deployed to Nasarawa State on the order of President Muhammadu Buhari have refused to report at the affected areas where people “are being killed and houses burnt on a daily basis.”
According to its president, Boniface Ifer, “we don’t know why the military refused to move to the troubled areas. We want the whole world to know that the security agents are stationed in one place in Lafia.”On the genesis of the crisis, the leader of the Tiv community contradicted the claim that the impasse was an offshoot of the implementation of the anti-open grazing law in Benue State.
Ifer noted: “I want to say without fear or favour that this ongoing crisis predates the anti-grazing law. It would be recalled that on July 1, 2001 the Tiv people of Nasarawa State were attacked by the same suspected herdsmen who brutally killed thousands of them and destroyed property worth billions of naira
“Again, on June 18, 2011, the Tiv people of Keana and Doma council areas were attacked by the herdsmen, killing scores, including a police officer, ASP Awajir with Keana police division and two Tiv community leaders, Zaki Kiri Asoho and Zaki Iorwaney Lyebera.”
He wondered why the January 2018 attack was targeted only at the Tiv people in Nasarawa under the pretext of the anti-open grazing law in neighbouring Benue.The TIDA leader continued: “The Tiv people in Nasarawa State are not part and parcel of the law-making process in Benue State and what affects Benue must not affect us here.
“Between January 1 and 8 this year, 15 Tiv people were murdered in Awe local government area of the state, while six others were equally slaughtered in Obi council area. In Keana Local Council, about 22 of our people were killed by the herdsmen between January 7 and 29, 2018, just as seven lost their lives to herdsmen’s attacks in Doma local government.”
Ifer regretted that the situation was slipping out of the hands of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, who he acknowledged, had done his best to contain the situation.
“The herdsmen have refused to yield to the warning of the governor. As I talk to you now, they have succeeded in taking over the entire Tiv settlements n Nasarawa State,” he added.