By Nick Dugba,
The crisis that erupted between the Fulani and Mumuye ethnic groups in Lau Local Government Area of Taraba State earlier in the week, which led to the loss of lives, has assumed a dangerous dimension as villagers have begun fleeing from their villages for fear of attack.
There was tension since Yesterday and today-Thursday in Lankaviri, a village on the outskirts of Jalingo, where villagers from the crises area have found refuge. As a result, there is fear of the unexpected.
It was reliably learnt that there are up to a thousand fleeing villagers in Lankaviri presently. Tarfa, a resident of the village, confirmed to this reporter on phone that several villages have been burnt to ashes in a reprisal attack.
He expressed fear of likely degeneration of the crises and said they were getting prepared to store up for themselves food, just in case the situation becomes worse and affects normal life in the village.
He, however, disclosed that security agents, including the Police and military, were on ground to keep the peace.
Also, it was learnt that as at yesterday, Wednesday, security operatives were seen escorting herds of cattle belonging to the herdsmen to safety, while villagers of Mumuye extraction were advised by security agents not to flee from their villages to avoid being attacked on their way.
However, The Police in Taraba State has attributed mischief to be the leading cause of the recent clash between the Mumuye ethnic group and Fulani herdsmen in Lau LGA, where six persons were confirmed dead and several persons injured.
Speaking exclusively to this reporter in Jalingo on the recent crisis, the Police Public Relations Officer,(PPRO), Taraba state Command, David Misal, narrated how the clash happened.
He said a particular Mumuye man found out that cows invaded his farm and he immediately took action by driving away the cows which he accompanied to the owner. While returning to his house, he was attacked by some herdsmen with cutlasses but succeeded in escaping with wounds which were treated. However, his kin, who happened to be of Mumuye extraction took a reprisal attack on a Fulani settlement which escalated to further clashes and which led to the casualties, including the dead and injured.
According to the Police Spokesman, the situation is now relatively calm, and security beefed up in the area to prevent further escalation of the crises.