Egbira/Bassa Clashes: Killings, burning of houses persist against security presence

May 16th, 2018


From Francis Nansak, Lafia
Bassa people in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State have raised the alarm of the continuous attack of its people by the Egbira militia, even as the security presence could not prevent the menace of the genocide, now going into three weeks.
National Secretary of Bassa Cultural and Development Union (BCDU), Gwatana Huleji Dogwo, disclosed this to Journalists on Tuesday during a press conference in Lafia.
He said over 31 Bassa people were reported to have been murdered in the ongoing communal crisis between the Egbira and Bassa ethnic nationalities of Toto Local Government Area in Nasarawa State.
Adding that beyond the attacks, killings and sacking of Bassa people and their villages, all roads leading to Toto, Ugya, Umaisha and Ayewawa were allegedly been blocked and manned by Egbira militias claiming to be vigilante groups.
Pointing out that “We note with grave concern that the  military men who came supposedly to keep peace are now taking side ,they now go about chasing, shooting  and killing our people in their settlements and allowing the Egbira a field day.
“The scenario is worrisome and gives serious doubts in the minds of our people and indeed the general public as the true status of the supposed deployed military in Bassa communities in Toto local government,” he alleges.
According to him, “the situation where those supposed to be in charge of peace mission are the ones that have decided to be bias can be attributed to connivance and a collusion between the Egbira and the law enforcement agents to completely extinct wipe out Bassa people from their community in Toto.

“As a result of this unbelievable action, the Egbira militias, therefore, stop and search vehicles as well as motorcycles thereby killing anyone identified to be of the Bassa extraction.
“The most shocking component of this crisis is the fact that the traditional rulers as well as the political office holders from this local council have kept mum from the inception of this crisis to date giving us the impression that they could be responsible for this genocide since they are all of the Egbira extraction.”
The Bassa community leader the regret that the royal fathers and political office holders of the council area were expected to have made strong statements condemning the killings and arson but rather, they have condoned the burning of Bassa houses in Toto town, Ugya and other major Bassa settlements in broad day light.
Dogwo concluded by calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly come to the aid of the Bassa people of Toto Local Government who have been displaced as a result of the genocide, even as he pleaded with Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura to visit Toto immediately and invite the two warring parties to a dialogue.
He stressed that the crisis is not a religious one but an act of ethnic cleansing targeted at the Bassa people.
He condemned the continuous killings and called for the deployment of an unbiased security personnel to Toto, to dismantle the road blocks and that the government set up a judicial panel of inquiry on the crisis immediately.
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