In a statement signed by JDA National President, Mr. Benjamin Danborno, the group said the call to take up arms became necessary due to federal government alleged failure “to check the violence and protect the Jukun people from the clutches of the blood-thirsty Fulani herdsmen, who have been killing, maiming and burning our houses.”
According to the group, unarmed worshippers came under a volley of gun fire and by the time the smoke ebbed, at least 115 people have died.
“At the last count, 51 villages belonging to the Jukun and Tiv people have been completely destroyed and burnt down while farm produce worth several millions of naira destroyed.
“Everywhere you go around southern Taraba villages, Fulani herdsmen have taken over our people’s farmland commandeering Jukun and Tiv’s homes and their live stocks,” the JDA president said.
He noted that the Jukuns were aggrieved and disappointed that both the federal and the state governments have not been able to resolve the matter leading to the avoidable bloodshed. Danborno said it is perplexing that in a country where firearms licences are not freely issued to individuals, “these herdsmen openly carry
firearms with which they harm and kill innocent people, giving the impression that some people are above the law.”
He therefore warned all politicians to steer clear of fueling crisis in southern Taraba especially now that it is the turn of the zone to produce the next governor of the state come 2015.