19 killed as gunmen invade Kogi community - Dove Bulletin - Online News Bulletin

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19 killed as gunmen invade Kogi community

19 killed as gunmen invade Kogi community

Tawari in Kogi Local Government Area of Kogi State was on Friday thrown into mourning after gunmen raided the community overnight, killing 19 residents.

The attackers also razed the palace of the third class chief in the area, Alhaji Yusuf Idris.

The Police said about 28 houses and vehicles were burnt by the vandals.

Tawari community is a few kilometres off Gegu town on the Lokoja-Abuja highway

Governor Yahaya Bello directed security agencies to fish out the perpetrators immediately for prosecution.

The gunmen are believed to be herdsmen.

One version of the attack is that it was a reprisal for the recent killing of four Fulani by security men on the Lokoja-Abuja highway.

The security agencies were said to have been tipped off about the activities of a militia by vigilance groups from Tawari community.

Another version is that it was to avenge the alleged ritual killing of a herdsman in the area last year.

Sources said the community head, Alhaji Yahaya Tawari, appeared to have succeeded to pacify the herdsmen to allow peace to reign and shelve any idea of reprisal, until a few days ago when they started moving out of the village en masse.

Again, the elders tried to persuade them to stay, but the herdsmen said nomadism was their way of life and gave an assurance that the community had nothing to fear about their leaving.

The Sole Administrator of the local government, Musa Tanko Mohammed, confirmed that 19 persons died in the midnight invasion.

Another source put the number of the dead at 23.

Mohammed described the incident as very unfortunate.

He said efforts were on to restore calm to the area.

A resident Comfort Solomon, who survived the attack, told NAN that the gunmen, numbering about 100 launched their attack late on Thursday.

She said the gunmen came on motorcycles and descended, killing and burning buildings until the early hours of yesterday.

Mrs Solomon said many places of worship, including the palace of the Akuma of Tawari were burnt down by the invaders.

“The gunmen were up to 100 in number. They came into the community on motorcycles around 11:15 p.m. when villagers were sleeping.

Similarly, a NAN correspondent in Minna, Niger, Rita Nuhu, a native of Tawari, said on the phone that her father’s house was burnt down during the attack.

She said: ”My people have been calling me from home that my father’s house was burnt down by the attackers.

“My mother and her sister were ordered out of the house after which the house was set ablaze, while about 15 men were killed.”

Soldiers were deployed to the community on Friday, while the State Commissioner of Police, CP, Ede Ayuba Ekpeji, visited for an on the spot assessment of the situation and provide support.

The CP in a statement described the attack as unfortunate.

He sympathized with the traditional ruler of Tawari and the entire community over the incident.

The CP deployed Special Forces, Federal Anti-Robbery Squad, Counter Terrorism Unit, Police Mobile Force, as well as the conventional police, to the area to forestall any further breakdown of law and order.

He also ordered the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the investigation to commence an investigation to unravel the cause of the attacks.
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