GUNMEN have again struck in Taraba State killing five persons in Dan-Anicha village of Gasso Local Council.
The bandits, The Guardian learnt, stormed the village at 3 a.m. yesterday and kidnapped five persons, whom eyewitnesses claimed they later shot dead in nearby Usaa village.
A resident of the area alleged that, “the gunmen entered our village with two Hilux vans. At the initial stage, we thought they were soldiers or policemen on patrol but we were later proved wrong by their vicious actions.
“The way and manner they banged into the houses of their victims was suspicious and when we came out we were threatened so we took to our heels.”
Filled with emotion and tears rolling down his cheeks, the resident said, “the gunmen took away the five brothers in their Hilux vehicle and a few minutes we started hearing gunshots. It was then we knew that all was
not well with us. Four of them were killed in the nearby village of Usaa. And as I am talking to you now, the fifth person is still missing. We don’t know where they dumped his body because it was five of them that were whisked away by these gunmen.”
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ibiang Mbaseki, said the command had been briefed on the sad development but could not confirm whether the suspected gunmen were
The police, he said, were investigating the killings and reiterated the command’s determination to ensure security of life and property in the state.
An elder in the community who spoke through an interpreter told The Guardian that, “we are all living in fear now. I am ready to speak to you but you too have to do my family and I this favour by not mentioning my name to the world.”
He linked the gruesome killing to the current feud between the Fulani and Tiv in Takum Local Council of the state.
“You know this community is predominantly Tiv. So we are not suspecting any other persons other than the Fulanis. If it were the Boko Haram, they won’t have been selective. They would have just open fire on the people, but what happened was different.
“I mean those that came here in the two Hilux vans went straight into the houses of those they felt should be eliminated, captured them and took them to a nearby village before killing them. With what we have been reading and hearing about Boko Haram, I don’t think they operate in that manner,” he said.
He blamed the situation on security operatives, saying, “policemen are always here patrolling and collecting money from innocent people, but once it is 11p.m, they will all disappear.”