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Twenty two people have been reportedly killed in an early morning attack by an armed group alleged to be Fulani herdsmen on 9 different communities in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi.
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The herdsmen who raided the communities were said to have carried out the attack in the early hours of Monday, November 9th, 2015, killing 22 and wounding several others, while hundreds are said to be missing.
Briefing the House of Representatives Press Corps yesterday at the National Assembly, representatives of concerned members of the affected communities, led by Barrister Usman Ibrahim and Silas Ahiaba, stated that the people of the affected communities were in distress, having been chased away from their ancestral lands, and that they require the urgent intervention of the state and federal governments.
Addressing the media, Barrister Ibrahim said: “We are all talking from the position of distress. As we speak, our fathers, grandfathers, parents and loved ones have been chased away from their ancestral homes where they have existed for over 200 years.
“At early hours of Monday, the communities were greeted with an invasion of heavily armed Fulani herdsmen who killed and maimed so many. As of today, 22 people have been confirmed dead, several others either injured or missing. Right now, we are refugees in our own land.”
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Asked if there has been any response or intervention from the state government, the visibly emotional bureaucrat who is also a Committee Clerk in the National Assembly said the response from the state government has so far been skeletal with little or no effect.
“The state government has been fully briefed on this matter. But whether they have been able to make any inroad is still not certain because our people are still displaced. As at yesterday, a few policemen went to the places but no form of arrest has been made so far. There has not been any fruitful response from governments at any level. We want the Federal Government to intervene and return our families home in one piece. That’s the humble appeal we are making,” he said.
On whether there has been conflict of that nature between the herdsmen and farmers in the past, the aggrieved indigene answered in the affirmative, saying that there has been confrontations in the past but nothing murderous.
“This is a period when the farmers harvest their farm produce and what the herdsmen do is to come and feast on the harvest. So it has always been an issue between them. However, this time they came to kill and destroy lives and property,” he said.
The group also lamented the lack of response by federal and state legislators representing the affected communities which fall within the Igala speaking areas of Kogi state.
“On whether we have informed our lawmakers, yes we have tried to contact them but they have been unavailable. I have made efforts to reach out to the State Assembly members and even the Representative and the Senator here, but we are yet to establish contact with them concerning this situation,” Mr. Ibrahim said.
The affected communities are Agojeju, Ikpoba, Ojeh, Ajomojayi, Ajadaji, Idochi, Ojiyanawo, Ulaja and Oganenigu respectively.
All affected communities are in Dekin/Bassa Federal constituency which is currently being represented by Hon. Benjamin Ikani Okolo in the 8th House of Reps; while Senator Abdulrahman Abubakar represents Kogi East in the 8th Senate. However, no form of legislative effort has emerged from either of them since the ugly incident occurred on Monday.
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