14th May, 2012
Pene Da Bwatiye, the umbrella body of Bwatiye people of Adamawa, said 12 villages were affected in Sunday’s attack in Lamurde Local Government by gunmen believed to be “mercenary cattle rearers.
National President of Pene Da Bwatiye Association, Prince Hezron Fada, said this on Monday while addressing a press conference in Yola. He said all the villages affected by the mayhem were in Lamurde Local Government Area.
“All the 12 villages were burnt down and we are yet to ascertain the exact number of lives lost,” Fada said.
Fada who was flanked by prominent members of the association, accused the state government of not acting fast enough to avert the incident.“From what we gathered, it had been rumoured that a band of armed men were camping around the settlements, with intent to attack in retaliation for an earlier attack on herdsmen in the area.
“It was the hope that security measures such as the deployment of troops would be taken to forestall the eventuality that we witnessed yesterday,” he said.
He called on communities in the affected areas to be calm and not to take the law into their hands.The national president called for a high-powered probe into the attack.
Reacting to the allegation, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Kobis Thimnu, said the association was being “economical with the truth”.
Thimnu said government had since the initial attack on Fulani settlements by some people in the area in January, stationed men of the joint military/police patrol “Operation Tsaro” in the areas to forestall such reprisal attack.Also reacting, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Mr Nemuel Yoila, said that only five villages were affected in the attack which claimed the lives of six people.Yoila said police acted promptly to contain the situation and that the affected villages were now calm.“If not for our swift reaction, the situation would have been worst,” the police spokesman said.