The Kuteb people, who live in the Ussa and Takum LGCs and the Yangtu Special Development Area of Taraba State, have refuted claims that peace has returned to the region.
The Kuteb Yatso Nigeria (KYN) ethnic group claimed on Friday that the government’s efforts to thwart robbers who have been attacking their towns have been ineffective.
Journalists in the state capital of Jalingo were given a statement from KYN in which the group expressed disapproval of the state government’s response to the widespread violence.
They said, “The report that normalcy has returned to our land is either an intentional statement to trivialise the magnitude of the problem or a statement made in error arising from underreporting of the happenings in Takum and Ussa.”
The statement, issued by KYN chairman Ure Caleb, said, “It is crucial to emphasize that normalcy cannot be claimed to have returned to the area just because the bandits retired to their camps after hitting their targets.
Over the course of each day, terrorists “capture and occupy more and more villages where they have killed villagers and displaced the rest [of the population] into harsh environmental conditions” (Day by Day, Terrorists Close in on Takum and Lissam Towns, Headquarters of Takum and Ussa Local Government Councils, and Yangtu Special Development Area).
YKN continued, “They assault our settlements in a highly sophisticated manner with such a number of fighters estimated to be in the hundreds, usually all armed with high-calibre, high-velocity weapons of military capacity.
There is a higher concentration of bandits per square mile in Takum and Ussa than in Zamfara, Plateau, or Katsina States; these bandits surround the Kuteb communities in Takum, Ussa, and the Yangtu Special Development Area, where they commit murder on a daily basis.
They questioned why the state government keeps calling it a farmers vs. herders conflict.
They said the murders were part of a systematic plot by a gang intent on displacing and wiping out an entire ethnic community.