The Taraba state police command has countered the arguments of some community leaders in Ngwutswen village in Gassol local government that herdsmen were responsible for a late night attack that left four persons dead.
Recall that the village was stormed by gunmen on Thursday night killing persons and carting away valuable properties.
Shortly after the attack, a community leader in the village confirmed that the attackers were herdsmen. He said his people were sleeping when they struck, revealing that the problem started after some cows belonging to one Dapel Lolo and one another Buruti invaded farms and caused serious damage.
“We caught 12 of their cows that eat our crops and handed over to them peacefully, but we demanded a compensation of N40, 000 which they reluctantly paid, but threatened to attack us,” he reportedly said.
“I can confirm to you that Alhaji Buruti’s sons were among the over 20 of herdsmen who attacked us.
However, the Police command has cautioned against such wide accusations. David Misal, spokesman of the state police command who confirmed the incident on Friday dismissed reports that they were herdsmen, saying the command is yet to ascertain the identity of the perpetrators.
He said the command received information of the attack around 3am but arrived at the scene after it had occurred. “Some people suspected to be armed robbers invaded the community. They shot four people dead and catered away motorcycles,” he said.
“No arrest has been made so far. Before we arrived the scene, they had run away. So we are gathering intelligence and trying to see how we can arrest the perpetrators.
“Nobody can say at the moment if they were herdsmen or not. Their mode of operation was to attack the people and cart away their motorcycles, just like armed robbers.
“So what we have so far gathered shows they are armed robbers. Form the look of things, it was an armed robbery incident and we are yet to verify the identities of the attackers.”
The unfortunate incident happened a day after Darius Ishaku, governor of the state, raised an alarm of an impending attack on the state.
The governor had said the state received a notice from an undisclosed source that there will be an attack in 10 days’ time.