From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Residents of Manga village in Takum Local Government Area, on the Nigerian border with Cameroon have narrated how the Ambazonian separatists visited their peaceful village with horror leaving at least twelve persons dead and about twenty missing including children.
The Chief of Shibong, HRH Alexander Yamusa Garkwe, said the nature of the latest killings in Shibong has made his subjects vulnerable and really worrisome as it led to the killing of the Village head of Manga village and some of his subjects by the foreign separatists.
He however called for permanent station of Marine police, Army and more deployment of Immigration officers to effectively combat the growing transborder threat.
A resident Abubakar Manga, who witnessed the incident, said, the attackers came in around 7am and started unleashing mayhem on the hapless villagers.
According to Manga, “it was just another normal day for us and people were just waking up to start their day when the assailants came in through a narrow bush part after navigating the mountain into our village. I really can not say how many they were but they came in their numbers and started shooting at everything in sight.
“The path they followed into the village was close to the palace of our village head and that was why they were able to kill him easily. A lot of our people ran into the river to escape while others followed the bush and mountain to flee.
“Save for the Immigration Officers who were around and moved in immediately, the number of those killed would have been a lot more as we were not expecting anything like this.
“The immigration officers who have a post here engaged the attackers while another officer of theirs used their boat to evacuate children and women into other villages. It was the immigration that called for backup and the military had to come in because over here there is no mobile phone operator network.
“Here in Manga, six people were killed including our village head, but the two villages that they attacked before coming in on the Cameroon side, they killed three people each over there” he narrated.
Another resident, who spoke said that the attack on their villages may not be unconnected with their offering residence to their kinsmen from the Cameroonean side who were fleeing assault from the same same bloodthirsty gun trutters.
“Before Tuesdays’ attack, the Ambazonia fighters had on Sunday attacked the some village they have been attacking in Cameroon. This led so many people running into Manga and Shibong villages. On Monday nothing happened but that very Tuesday, we just saw men with guns coming in.
“Before now, we have not had any problem with either Cameroon Gendarmes or the Separatists. We are peace loving people. We thought harbouring our brothers who were in harms way over there is being our brothers keepers not knowing that we would pay with our dear lives. It is very painful and our hitherto peaceful atmosphere is now compromised.”
The Taraba state Commissioner for Information Mr. Danjuma Adamu, who led a team for an on the spot assessment said the state government would liaise with the Federal government to ensure the killings of innocent Nigerians by foreigners does not repeat itself.
He also extended the state government’s condolences to the community and thanked them for their resilience.
“We have seen things ourself now and we have heard the request made by the communities here. We will report back to the state governor for quick intervention and I am certain something positive would follow. Also, the military are now stationed here and we are sure that lives and properties are safe” Adamu said.
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