Nigerian Police have confirmed that killer herdsmen have extended their bloody campaign of mass murder and genocide to Taraba State, killing 55 people in Lau.
55 people were killed in Lau Local Government Area in Taraba State after killer herdsmen extended their bloody campaign in the area where about 200 homes and huge piles of foodstuff were destroyed, as many people are still missing in the attacks, which began last weekend.
According to The Nation, 25 bodies were recovered and given a mass burial on Tuesday when reporters and Bala Dan Abu, a media assistant to Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, visited the area.
It was gathered that Policemen and soldiers cordoned off the area as the burial was hurriedly done by angry youths amid fear of the attackers coming for them.
“You know, I don’t like witnessing a funeral; what more, a mass burial like this,” Bala said, fighting back tears.
Those buried were mostly children, women and elderly persons. Most of the bodies were recovered from burnt houses, bush paths and farmlands. The bodies had swollen.
Sources said some of the victims tried to escape from the marauders, but were hacked down by another set of herdsmen who ambushed them in large numbers.
The invaders used mostly “sophisticated guns and poisoned knives” to carry out the massacre, described by many as “genocide”. Those who survived the herdsmen’s bullets are taking refuge in Abari, a settlement.
The State Governor, Darius Ishaku told The Nation on telephone on Tuesday night and lamented the sufferings of his people. “Herdsmen are killing people in Lau.”
Ishaku attributed killings by Fulani herdsmen in some parts of the country, to a “drive for territorial control”, and blamed the elite for masterminding the violence for their political and economic interests. He urged Nigerians to pray for the country.
The spokesman of Taraba State Police Command, David Misal, who confirmed the killings said the situation was calm yesterday.
Misal, who had earlier reported the casualty figures as 12 when the attack began, said “enough security personnel have been deployed in the area”. What we are doing now is to build confidence in the people.”
The Lau incident is the latest act of unprovoked aggression against communities in Taraba State by Fulani herdsmen.