The Traditional chairman of the Tiv traditional council Taraba State and the Ter Bali, Zaki David Gbaa on Thursday said the death toll in the recent Herdsmen attack on their communities has risen to 65.
Gbaa who disclosed this in Bali while presenting the list of those killed by herdsmen to the Chairman of Bali Local Government Council, Prince Musa Mahmud for onward presentation to Governor Darius Ishaku.
He said 49 of those killed in Bornon Kurku were yet to be buried.
“My heart bleeds! Corpses of 49 of my subjects killed in Bornon Kurku are yet to be buried. As I speak, their corpses are being eaten by birds in the area.
“The security of the area is not guarantee for my people to go there. So, I am appealing to you the Chairman to provide security to enable us go to Bornon Kurku and bury our relations.
“It is unfortunate that the problem started in Benue State where some Fulani people were killed by hoodlums and the Fulanis in Bali local government area in Taraba started killing my people.
“We are not from Benue and we know nothing about the killing of Fulanis in Katsina-Ala Local Government in far away Benue State as being alleged. So, why are we being killed for something we know nothing about?
“We are indigenous to this area, but the treatment being meted on us is not a reflection of our status. We are being treated like settlers and second class citizens. The Taraba State government should work towards helping us to build confidence that we can be protected as well.
“This is rainy reason and nearly 10,000 people mainly farmers have been displaced. This is an omen of an impending hunger, ” he said.
Earlier the Chairman of Bali Local Government Council, Prince Musa Mahmud said 38 Tiv people were killed in the crisis in Taraba and nine Fulanis were earlier murdered in Benue which sparked off the crisis in the Local Government.
The Council Chairman appealed to both Tiv and Fulani people to forgive one another and embrace peace.
While pledging to ensure that those killed are buried, the Chairman said efforts were on to provide food to the displaced persons across four camps in Bali.
“I have initiated a peace move between the two ethnic groups and soon all those displaced will return to their homes to continue with their normal lives.
“I have visited the Fulani man whose children were killed in Benue and I am here with the Tiv Leaders to seek for understanding in ending the crisis,” he said.
Police Public Relations Officer, ASP David Misal however told journalists that only 13 people were killed in the attacks on villages in Bali Local Government area of the State.