Corpses found in wells, shal­low graves in Nasarawa

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Hir Joseph, Lafia

Death toll from the weekend in­va­sion of Igga set­tle­ment of Nasarawa-Eg­gon, near Lafia in Nasarawa State by mil­i­tants who killed many people must have risen by yes­ter­day af­ter se­cu­rity per­son­nel and govern­ment of­fi­cials dis­cov­ered more corpses in the town.

Some corpses were dis­cov­ered in wells and shal­low graves at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions, govern­ment and se­cu­rity per­son­nel said yes­ter­day but they did not give any fig­ures.

Many res­i­dents in­clud­ing chil­dren and women were killed in Igga, barely a month af­ter Gwan­dara people who were ear­lier dis­placed by a pre­vi­ous cri­sis re­turned to the area. The po­lice said the killing was sparked off by a mis­un­der­stand­ing be­tween a Gwan­dara and an Eg­gon over a piece of land, al­though de­tails were still sketchy by yes­ter­day.

The trou­bled town, in­hab­ited by Gwan­dara and Eg­gon people, had suf­fered a sim­i­lar bloody cri­sis about a year ago af­ter Eg­gon, Fu­lani and Gwan­dara people were locked in hos­til­i­ties which later cul­mi­nated in the May 7, 2013 in­ci­dent in Alakyo where about 74 se­cu­rity op­er­a­tives were mur­dered. Law en­force­ment agencies and a com­mis­sion of in­quiry had long blamed that cri­sis on the Om­batse, but the group in­sisted it never killed any­body.

The re­newed vi­o­lence dis­placed thou­sands, Dr. Ab­dul­lahi Idris, the Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary of Nasarawa Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (NASEMA) told Daily Trust. He said dis­placed per­sons were tak­ing refuge in Lafia, Doma, Rutu and Bassa.

“We dis­cov­ered some of the bod­ies in mass graves. Some were in wells,” he said, adding that a re­port of the visit was sent to the state gover­nor, Umaru Tanko Al­Makura.

State sec­re­tary of the Red Cross, Jerry Kuje, said he had no de­tails be­cause he had no full brief­ing. But he said his men re­cov­ered some corpses in Igga. State po­lice spokesman, ASP Umaru Is­maila, said he had no de­tails as well. “No ar­rests made yet, we are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cri­sis,” he said.

Mean­while, Om­batse group’s le­gal ad­viser, Bar­ris­ter Za­mani Zachary Al­lumaga, has de­nied any in­volve­ment, say­ing re­ports link­ing the group with the Igga in­ci­dent were part of mis­chief against them. Mean­while, an emer­gency state se­cu­rity meet­ing con­vened by the gover­nor re­solved that he (Al-Makura) would go to Abuja to brief Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan and seek federal govern­ment ac­tion on the cri­sis and other vi­o­lence trou­bling the state. State po­lice com­mis­sioner, Ibrahim Idris, who briefed news­men af­ter the meet­ing in Govern­ment House said the meet­ing con­demned the killing and called for calm.

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