Suspected militias reportedly launched a fresh attack at the weekend on Umaisha, headquarters of Opanda chiefdom, in Toto council area of Nasarawa State, killing scores and burning down many homes.
The national president and secretary of Egbura National Development Association (ENDA), Professors Ibrahim Aguye, and Yusuf Aboki, at a press briefing yesterday in Lafia, said the incident occurred in a broad daylight shortly after the indigenes commenced their prayers.
According to them, “apart from Ugya which has experienced sustained attacks by suspected Bassa indigenes in the surrounding villages of Kolo,
Katakpa and Ogba, we have also come under attacks in different days.
“We are constrained to give the concerned authorities some promising leads that would prove useful in their quest to check the campaign of terror against Egbura communities in Toto Local Government Area.”
Consequently, the ENDA leadership called on Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura to go beyond the “usual government diplomatic appeal for peaceful coexistence” by unearthing the causes of the ongoing crisis.
Their words: “The state government should unmask the masquerades behind the latest crisis, which we have every reason to believe, has political undertone.
“It should also act to bring those who are hell-bent on rubbishing the uncommon feats achieved by the administration through ignition of crisis in flashpoints across the state as we approach the 2019 general elections.”
The ENDA leaders appealed to the governor to reverse what they termed “the inherently weird and provocative decision of every Bassa indigene to indiscriminately settle at Ugya irrespective of where they were before the 1997 crisis.”
They also called on Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to probe the “seemingly intractable crisis between these ethnic groups in Bassa LGA with a view to bringing the culprits to book.”
The leaders urged the governor to facilitate the return of all residents of Egbura ethnic extraction displaced from their homes in Ogbonka, Ogbaozanyi, Ozugbe, Ahutara, Okanga and Ibiroko communities.
They equally appealed to both the Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently come to the aid of the displaced.
Also yesterday, gunmen abducted the three wives of a businessman, Alhaji Adamu Nakwana, from Maganda village in Birnin Bwari Local Council of Kaduna State. The attack took place around 2:00 a.m.
The fresh onslaught comes six days after the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, visited the area where he ordered troops to clamp down on the perpetrators of the mayhem in the axis.
Efforts to reach the Police Public Relations Officer PPRO for the state police, ASP Mukhtar Aliyu, for comments were futile as he neither took his calls nor responded to the messages sent to his mobile phone as at press time.
A resident of Maganda, who preferred anonymity, said: “The bandits, who came in scores, locked down the whole town on Sunday (yesterday) morning.”
He went on: “They went straight to Alhaji Adamu’s house and took away his three wives. They did not harm any person but people were fleeing, as they do not know if they will come back for another attack.
“The bandits later released one of the women and gave her a number instructing that Alhaji Adamu should call them probably to negotiate for payment of ransom for the release of the women.”