On January 2, shooters whose identity are still unidentified, assaulted Tawari, a town hosting the Bassa people and Gbagyi, Ganagana and Hausa-Fulani people in Kogi State, killing over 20 of its residents and setting a number of structures in the town on fire. The critical ruler of Tawari Kingdom, Alhaji Idris Alhassan Yusuf, in this interview speaks on the attack, how he got away; the relationship in between the Ebira, Bassa, Gbagyi and Ganagana people that comprised Kogi Local Government Area where Tawari is positioned: Excerpts:
What are the instant and remote causes of the issues in your domain?
The remote cause of this issue is not something I can describe due to the fact that I have no concrete factor from anyone. My thinking is that it has something to do with people lording over other smaller sized people. And as people get informed, they started to know their rights and the dominant consider the North did not take kindly to suchpeople
The crisis in Nasarawa State spilt over to our location and Bassa Local Government in Igala land. Our city government was one of the most tranquil city governments due to the fact that we cohabit; we collaborate and do whatever together.
Politically, we are being marginalized. Now that we are informed and wish to get our rights, the dominant political leaders, locals in the city government, are not pleased about it. The crisis took one method or the other. I am not here to point implicating fingers at anyone however to state absolutely nothing however fact. What has actually occurred, we didn’t anticipate it due to the fact that we have actually been really friendly to each other.
Today, as the Kogi State is, all the councillors are one people–Ebira All the unique consultants to the guv, unique assistants, commissioners, name it, they are all Ebiras; just one councillor in our city government isBassa Gwaris are not there, the Hausa-Fulani dotted around us are not there. It is an overall dominance of one people versus the rest. I hope the guv will correct these issues.
When this issue began, a lot of people lost their lives in Bassa Local Government, a lot of our people lost their lives in NasarawaState
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Now in Kogi State, people are intruding into our city government to develop more issues and people believe it isFulani Everybody that can not sleep with his other half, they will state it is Fulani ranchers whereas we are the cause of our issues. The world should know and concern our help. We are left in the bush.
When you take a look at these concerns, killings in particular neighborhoods, as a royal dad, one may ask, is it due to the fact that you have not been provided political area or what is the issue exactly?
This issue has actually been on for a long time and I have never ever in the history of my life presumed either Ebira or Gbagyi or the Bassa or theFulanis As these things continue to occur, we start to have hints. I am not stating that Ebiras assaulted us due to the fact that, in our city government, we have actually been living harmoniously together.
Who actually assaulted your domain?
Personally, I did not see, I did not think that they areEbiras It is thought, commonly by the people that they were worked with killers and they sought me. If I’m quiet, that race is completed because God understands I am really uncomplicated.
Are you stating that you do not know the identity of those who performed the attack on your domain?
Before God and guy, I can not state these are the people who performed the attack. But people declared that it is as if they wereFulanis That was why I stated at first that anyone that can’t sleep with his other half would state it isFulani I don’t need to point an implicating finger at anyone.
But you stated you were the prime target?
Yes, I was.
Why do you believe some people wish to remove you?
In any society you are, there should be those who enjoy the method you do things, there should be those who dislike the method you do things. That is my understanding. Those who dislike me may be the ones who wish to remove my people and myself to have theirways If I inform you how I got away, you will be amazed. I was concealing behind my closet when they entered my space and pierced my bed with a knife. My telephone was calling and I declined to choose from 11: 45 pm till 5 am.
You apparently stated 25 people were eliminated because attack. Was it a chosen or indiscriminate killing?
It was chosen killing. Of the 25 individuals eliminated, 2 were Gbagys and the rest wereBassas The 8 people that remained in the health center, 7 are Bassas, one isGbagyi I have actually walked around and provided each ill individual N50, 000 to assist offset their medical expense.
When we paid him (the guv) a see, I went there with 45 royal dads under our 3 districts and he asked us to develop a committee to check out what took place and the harms done so that he will be informed. We have actually done that however we are yet to send the report.
Also, I viewed that the opponents wished to get rid of everybody in the town. This is due to the fact that I don’t see any factor they should go house to house and kill men and leave females. And the men they eliminated were those who would take over from us when we are gone; they are primarily the youngpeople
Before the January second attack, existed any run-in in between your neighborhood and any other neighbouring neighborhood? Was there any concern you could trace to the event?
Not at all! The Ebiras in my city government are not the frustrating people at all, they are really friendly. The issue is from another state which is Nasarawa State and Bassa Local Government aroundIgala They are the ones having crisis however we and our Ebiras in Koton Karfe have no issue. So, it is an overflow from someplace.
Have you experienced any concern in between animals farmers and inactive farmers in your neighborhood?
The only time we had this issue was when the neighborhood told me cows were consuming their food. On Friday, I welcomed them (the Fulanis) and state ‘please, Fulani, this is the information I received, make sure you rear your cattle where in the bush and leave the food because when they eat up the food, both you and the owners would have nothing to eat’, and the Fulanis constantly hoped and stated that they are really pleased with the method I managed their matter. As a royal dad, everyone should be yours.
What is the level of damage and where are your people now?
Now, you can not discover as much as 20 people in my town. The whole of my town is complete of armed force that were sent out by the guv of Kogi State to secure us.
Where are the people?
They all ran away. Most of them remain in FCT, some went to Niger State and others have actually run away to Lokoja, Ekiti andOndo As I am speaking with you now, you can not count up to 20 people in my town consisting of the Gbagyi, Bassa and theGanagana Also, other villagers around have actually run away due to the fact that of worry of being assaulted.
But what about their homes, are they undamaged?
They were all burnt down. In reality, I can inform you that in Tawari town, 80 percent of the homes and the towns around have actually been burnt down totally.
The assassins were so wicked that they blew off the 4 tanks we have for water. Presently, we don’t have water to consume. Few people that are staying are bring from well. They blew off the 2 churches, they blew off the schools. Both main and secondary schools were levelled down.
They broke all the glasses of the dispensaries. They smashed all the glasses of the mosque and killed the Imam, the deputy Imam, my secretary and the APC leader.
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