Ichen, Tiv trade blame over Taraba killings, destruction

Ichen and Tiv ethnic groups in the southern part of Taraba State have continued to shift blame over the ongoing killings and destruction of properties in the area.
As at the time of filing this report, there were still killings and destruction of property in the communities.
Villages so far touched by the crisis include Ananum, Gidan Adamu, Baka Koshi Sanso, Zambana, Gankwe Barki, Dadin Kowa, Kwassa Sarki, Kwassa Sabo and Suntai Donga.
Briefing journalists yesterday in Jalingo, the National President of Ichen Cultural and Development Association (ICADA), Dr. Samuel Bibinu, alleged that the Tiv community in Ananum village triggered the fresh offensive.
The crisis, which he agreed erupted as a result of land dispute, led to massive destruction of farm produce and other properties worth millions of naira as well as killing of women and children.
“As I speak now, so many of my people, including women and children, have been killed and over 1,000 people have been displaced. Those that escaped are in surrounding bushes and are been hunted by the Tiv militia. Other displaced persons are in temporary shelters provided by the Jukun, Kuteb, Kpanzo, Chamba, friends and family members including Kurmi Council.
“The unprovoked attack on the Ichen community calls for urgent attention and intervention from government at all levels considering the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and food security for our people,” he said.
In a swift reaction, Tiv Cultural and Social Association (TCSA) said the event of the “last five days” that started from Donga Council was caused by Ichen youths, which led to massive casualties on the Tiv.
President-General of TCSA, Goodman Dahida, said: “The unfortunate incident started when Ichen youths attacked and badly injured a Tiv, Mr. Mernyi Chivir, on his farm. In self-defence, one of the attackers was killed and the Ichen militia went on rampage, killing about 31 Tivs, while 21 are still missing.”
Though the state’s police command claimed to be on top of the situation, The Guardian reliably gathered that silent killings and destruction of properties were still ongoing in the communities.