1,565 houses burnt, 15 died in Taraba crisis –Police

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Police in Taraba State have said that
15 people were killed while 2,130 were
displaced in the two-day inter-tribal
conflict that pitted the Jukun and
Hausa communities in Wukari and Ibi
local government areas of the state.
Conversely, more than 1,565 houses,
four filling stations and five churches
were burnt in the two-day mayhem.
Also, the acting Governor, Alhaji Garba
Umar, has given a marching order to
the local authorities in the affected
areas to maintain peace or face the
music.
Police Public Relations Officer, ASP
Joseph Kwaji, who spoke to newsmen
on the crisis in Jalingo on Monday,
said that four shops, eight vehicles
and three mosques were also razed
down.
Kwaji, while giving a breakdown of the
casualties, said that the worse hit was
in neighbouring local government area
of Ibi where 11 persons were killed, 21
injured, 167 houses burnt and four
churches completely burnt down.
Kwaji said that the Assistant Inspector
General of Police in charge of Zone 3,
Yola, Mohammed Abubakar, had
carried out an on-the-spot
assessment of the affected areas,
describing the incident as unfortunate.
Kwaji said the team took its time to
visit the two traditional rulers in
Wukari and Ibi council areas and held
discussions with them on the way out
of the crisis.
He said that more security operatives
had been drafted to the warring areas
to maintain peace and order, stressing
that the visit by top police officers in
the state and zone, no doubt, had
reduced tension that enveloped the
area in the past three days.
He said shortly after discussion with
the two royal fathers in their palaces
and domains in Ibi and Wukari local
government areas on Monday, the AIG
further addressed youths in the area to
lay down their arms in the interest of
peace and development.
Kwaji said the AIG further reminded
the youths on the need to tolerate one
another, assuring them of police
readiness to protect their lives and
properties.
Wukari and Ibi local government
councils have remained a ghost of
itself as motorists and residents are
busy relocating from those areas to
safer places.
Meanwhile, Umar has directed local
government chairmen to be security
conscious and ensure that there was
no breakdown of law and order in their
respective areas.
Umar gave the directive on Monday in
Jalingo, shortly after an extensive
security council meeting with both the
traditional rulers and the council
chairmen.
Briefing newsmen on the outcome of
the meeting that was held behind
closed door, the acting governor
further directed the council chairmen
to ensure that traditional rulers in their
respective areas were carried along in
the fight against insecurity in the state.
He ordered the local authorities to hold
monthly security meeting in order to
address grey areas for timely
intervention.
Umar stressed the importance of
traditional rulers in tackling security
challenge, saying they could not be
ignored. He therefore directed that the
royal fathers must be part of
distribution of relief materials to
displaced persons.
Hundreds of lives have been lost in
communal strife in southern Taraba
councils of Wukari and Ibi in the past
three months between the Tiv/Fulani
on one hand and the Jukun/Hausa
community on the other. Properties
worth millions of naira have also been
lost in the crises.

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