Nasarawa killings: Sen. Gyunka commends NEMA’s move to provide relief materials
Senator Philip Gyunka, representing Nasarawa North Senatorial District, has commended the National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA) for carrying out an on-the-spot assessment, to ascertain level of damage done in recent killings in Akwanga, Nasarawa State.
The lawmaker, who gave the commendation in an interview with newsmen in Akwanga, said that NEMA’s prompt intervention was commendable.
The commendation was coming shortly after officials of NEMA from Lafia, Jos and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, visited the Internally Displaced Persons Camp(IDP) and affected villages.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some persons suspected to be herdsmen had reportedly attacked Mente, Nidan and Numan-Chuko villages in Akwanga Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
Officials say over 15 persons were affected by the attack.
Meanwhile, some villagers, who fled the villages are currently taking refuge in Akwanga Central Primary School.
Gyunka expressed optimism that with NEMA’s visit to profile the IDPS and carry out on-the-spot assessment of affected villages, relief materials would be provided as soon as possible to ameliorate the people’s suffering.
He said, “this is a sad moment for the state. We pray these unfortunate incidents do not happen again.
“NEMA’s visit to ascertain the number of IDPs to enable it figure out the amount of relief materials to make available is highly commendable.”
Gyunka, who is Vice Chairman Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, said the attacks came as a great shock, noting that the villagers had over time cohabited with other tribes including the Fulani people without clash.
He called on them to expose any known criminal, trying to cause disunity and chaos among people who had over the years lived together peacefully.
“We urge you to be vigilant to fish out infiltrators. On one of the days of the incidents, some Fulani’s called to say they are not responsible and I told them to report strange faces.
“I told them if they keep quiet it will look like conspiracy.
“The affected villages are a peace loving people who have been living peacefully with people of different faith and ethnic background,” he said.
Gyunka commended the Federal and Nasarawa State governments for prompt response to the attacks, by providing security and other forms of assistance to victims.
He also commended the Senate for its intervention and for passing the Police Reform Bill, which he said, when signed into law, will help address some of the security challenges in the country.
The lawmaker, however called for more security presence in and around the villages to forestall any further attack.
He also called for proper investigation into the attacks, to bring the perpetrators to book and to serve as deterrence.
“We appreciate the government and security agencies for their intervention.
“I know it is raining season and many of the villagers, who are predominantly farmers want assurances from the government that their lives and property would be secured when they return home.
“For now there is palpable fear of more attacks, so, the only way to restore the people’s confidence to to beef up security in and around the villages.
“While the federal and state governments are putting in their best to bring the situation under control, I call for peace.
“We look forward to the perpetrators being fished out to assure the people that they are safe because they want to return to their communities but are afraid of more attacks,” he said.
He assured other ethnic groups in the area of their safety, adding that, “all in Mada land should not be afraid. we will protect them but they must expose the bad eggs.”
The lawmaker said there was no doubt that some criminal elements were taking advantage of the country’s porous borders to infiltrate vulnerable communities to cause mayhem.
In a separate interview, Mr Ladan Ayuba, representative of the Director General of NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja, who led the team for the assessment, said a report would be submitted based on their findings.
He added that the report would be reviewed and relief materials provided based on recommendations.
Meanwhile, the District Head of the villages affected by the attacks, Mr Ismaila Malami, told newsmen that the attacks left 19 people dead, over 29 houses burnt as well as farm produce and other valuables destroyed.
He commended the federal and state governments for their prompt response and for beefing up security in the area.
He called for assistance to enable the villagers restore properties lost as a result of the attacks.(NAN)