Herdsmen hit Taraba again 10 hours after governor’s alarm

Killer herdsmen went on a fresh rampage in Taraba State Thursday night,10 hours after Governor Darius Ishaku raised the alarm that they were coming.

Four persons ,including a couple ,were murdered  at Ngutwsem village in  Gassol local government area in the night attack.

The couple were named as Mr. Shiriga Vaawombo and his wife, Ngunan.

A relation who witnessed the invasion said that as soon as Shiriga heard the first sound of gun shots,he took his wife to a place outside their house where he thought she could be safe.

“He was returning to pick their baby when the invaders shot him. His wife then cried out from where she was hiding. She was gunned down too,” he said.

Shiriga’s  second wife, Iveren, 35, was all tears,yesterday.

She was not at home during the invasion,having travelled to  Sabon Gida.

Some journalists including NationReformer.com were in the village yesterday in the company of Ishaku’s media aide Bala Dan Abu, a senior assistant to the governor on Revenue Mobilisation, Jerry Tyolanga and  three policemen.

The village  was largely deserted ,most residents taking to the bush to hide and fleeing to Sabon Gida..

No policeman was sighted in the area.

On seeing the journalists and the policemen,the hiding villagers came out and hurriedly used blunt diggers and hoes to dig two graves for the purpose of burying the victim.

The graves were shallow and there was no coffin to put the dead inside.

A cursory look at the bodies showed that after being shot,the assailants proceeded  to cut them in the head, neck and back with machete to ensure that they had no chance of surviving.

The women cried uncontrollably .

Governor Ishaku had said on Thursday that he received a warning from some people that they would strike within 10 days

He said: “We are on notice that in 10 days, we (Taraba) shall be attacked. I have alerted all security agencies. We are waiting.

“A helicopter has dropped arms and ammunitions in the night without its mission established. It is not a time to keep quiet; we are living in fear,”

The governor spoke at 12:47pm. The killer-herdsmen struck at 10:09pm.

Simon Tsavwua, 45, a brother to one of the victims  said he had gone to bed leaving some members of the household  outside.

Suddenly, he heard gun shots repeatedly.

He knew they were under  attack.

He quickly ran outside and hid.

The attackers were over  20,he said.

They  wielded automatic rifles and machetes.

“But where I hid was close to where one of my brothers was killed. He cried before giving up. There was nothing I could do,” he said.

He said he and some of the family members ran further into the bush. “When we returned to the scene later, we saw four people dead,” he said, displaying some of the bullets fired by the attackers.

Sources said some of the militia men were sighted  in Sabon Gida, wearing mask, and armed.

“We are afraid, “one of the survivors said.