Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, on Tuesday condemned the killing of six traders by Fulani herdsmen in the state, adding the allegation that the victims had stolen cows was not enough reason to kill them.
Suspected herdsmen on Tuesday struck at a suburb of Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, killing six traders at Iware market.
It was gathered that the deceased were also robbed of their cash.
Five of the victims are natives of Mayo-Lope, Lau local government area of Taraba State where scores were massacred and several others injured by herdsmen few days ago.
The other victim, whose name was given as Ethan Nast, is said to be a resident of Damsa Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
The men, already displaced by crisis involving Fulani herdsmen in their area (Lau) on Tuesday came to Iware market with their cows to sell, do some other businesses and alleviate their suffering.
“They were trailed by their assailants all the way from Mayo-Lope where they set off, to Iware where they were hacked to death at the market,” the source said the killers disappeared immediately after their onslaught.
Sources said the killers invaded the market as though they were traders.
Another source, an eyewitness, said, as the market began to swell with buyers and sellers, the attackers emerged from the crowd in large number and began to machete the victims.
Four bodies were counted immediately. One of the victims who was identified as Baban Lumu, a cement dealer from Mayo-Lope, was fleeing from his attackers to a nearby police outpost, but no sooner had he arrived the police station than he died of the multiple cuts. Police recovered N80,050 from him. Another victim died in the hospital.
“The market was disrupted, as people, men and women, ran for their dear lives,” an eyewitness said.
Armed policemen, led by a Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Abubakar Inusa, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), arrived at the scene, at the nick of time.
They were seen battling hard to restore normalcy and convey the injured to the hospital.
Three persons were seriously injured. They were taken to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Jalingo, for treatment but one of them died in the hospital of “excess bleeding.”
The six bodies were deposited at the FMC’s morgue.
Police spokesman, David Misal, confirmed the attack and killings.
Misal said: “Six people were killed at Iware market by yet-to-be-identified persons.
“Some people brought cows to the market for sale but were attacked and killed when information got to Fulanis that the cows were stolen ones, he said.
Misal, who said the police were able to restore calm in the area, disclosed that the Police Command was gathering intelligence on how to trace those behind the attack and whether the attack is a spillage of the violence in Lau.
“We are trying to find out the perpetrators who took the law into their hands, instead of reporting to us, if really a case of cattle rustling was established,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Governor, who visited the scene of incident while returning from Makurdi, Benue State, where he attended a function with the state Governor, Samuel Ortom and Middle Belt leaders, said stealing of cows does not justify the cold blooded murder.
The Governor said he would meet with the state Commissioner of Police and the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the area on Wednesday “to look into the details of the killing.”
He said: “I have called the Police Commissioner and the DPO for more briefs tomorrow (Wednesday) for proper handling of the matter.
“The victims have been accused of stealing cows. But that is not enough reason to kill them and waste their lives.
“It is unfortunate that today, everyone has the audacity to kill at will.
“The security architecture of this country must be restructured,” the Governor said.