The death toll in suspected herdsmen attacks on some Communities in Bali Local Government Area of Taraba has risen to 12, according to local residents.
But the Taraba State Police Command through its spokesman, ASP David Missal, said 3 persons were killed by yet to be identified gunmen in series of attacks on some Communities in the area.
On his part, the Chief of Tiv in Bali and Chairman, Council of Tiv traditional leaders in Taraba, Zaki David Gbaa (Ter Bali II) said 11 of his people were killed by Fulani herdsmen, while a one week old baby died in the course of fleeing the crisis.
Suspected herdsmen had at the weekend reportedly launched deadly attacks on Gazabu, Kungana, Tukun Ruwa, Utsua Daa and Kpenkpen villages among others, leaving at least 11 people dead and scores injured who are now receiving treatment at the Bali General Hospital.
Zaki David Gbaa who condemned the incessant attacks on his Tiv subjects in the area, wondered why Daka district in Bali and the neighbouring Mutum Biyu district in Gassol Local Government Area were always peaceful, urging Governor Ishaku to hold the Local Chiefs in the area accountable for the crisis.
The Traditional Leader who blamed the crisis on the deliberate ploy by some people to dispossess them of their ancestral lands, appealed to the State House of Assembly to investigate the crisis with a view to bringing a permanent solution to the incessant attacks on his people.
He commended Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku for the steps taken to restore peace in the State but called for urgent deployment of Security Agents to the area and provide relief materials for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who are swelling the camps in Bali for safety.
Camp leader at the Tiv Council Hall in Bali, Mr. Matthew Baki in an interview, enumerated the challenges facing the people in camps to include, water, shelter, food and exposure to all forms of diseases.
“Just yesterday, two women delivered here without access to medical facility and one of the children died hours after delivery.
“As you can see, we are all sleeping outside in this open field and it’s been raining since we came in here on Friday. We are exposed to all forms of diseases. We want government to end the crisis to enable us return to our homes and farms,” he said.
The Lamdo Bakundi, Alh. Misa Gidado in whose domain the crisis broke out, told journalists that he has been holding series of meetings with stakeholders to ensure a quick end to the crisis and appealed to both the Fulani herders and Tiv farmers to embrace peace.
At the time of filing this report 1,765 people were camping at the Tiv Council Hall, St. Paul Catholic Church and NKST Church all in Bali town, even as more people were coming into the camps for safety.