Hundreds of women in Takum Local Government Area of the state on Friday, April 13, 2018, staged a peaceful protest within Takum township while calling for an end to the killings as well as “army’s harassment and complicity”.
A resident of the village, Hon. Orbee Uchiv noted that the community had been deserted following the attacks, however said there is a deployment of security personnel in the area. While informing that some of those injured are receiving treatment at the Wukari General Hospital and other private hospitals in the area, he said:
“We conducted mass burial for the dead ones in four different graves, dug by youths”. He lamented that people in the affected villages are in need of food and other relief materials as the attackers had burnt down all their belongings, including food items. The latest incidents are coming less than 24 hours after the Nigerian Army inaugurated a probe panel to investigate a statement credited to General TY Danjuma (ret’d), in which he alleged that the armed forces were colluding with some bandits to kill people in Taraba and other parts of the country.”
The protesting women who matched through major streets of Takum carrying placards with various inscriptions such as ‘stop harassing our people’, ‘we are tired of intimidation’, ‘we want to sleep with eyes closed’, among others, blocked the gate of 93 Battalion, Ada Barracks, demanding to see the Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Ibrahim Gambari.
The leader of the protesters, Mrs. Esther Yakubu, told journalists that they were not happy with the situation and the lack of seriousness on the part of the Federal Government to end the killings. She lamented that some army personnel, particularly those of Exercise Ayem Akpatuma, had been busy harassing people in the town while armed Fulani militia kill at will.
“Last night, the army arrested our youths and we don’t know their whereabouts. We learnt they are with them in the barracks and that is why we are here to seek for their release. “Those killing us are in the bush, we want them to go and disarm them to enable us to go back to farm because rain is here. Most of our people are peasant farmers and they depend on farming to make a living, but today the Fulani militia has taken over our land and nobody dares go to the farm. “We are now at the mercy of the armed Fulani militia who have continue with their killing spree and destruction unabated,” she lamented. Yakubu who said they were told that the Commanding Officer was not in his office noted that they would continue to keep vigil as long as it takes the military authorities to attend to their demands.”
The Commanding Officer, 93 Battalion, Ada Barracks, Lt. Col. Ibrahim Gambari, did not return calls or reply a text message sent to him as at the timie of filing this report. However, Assistant Director of Publicity, Army Exercise Ayem Akpatuma, Major Adegoke, told journalists that he was still gathering facts about the protest and would response as soon as the facts were available but he never did at the time of filing this report.