By Musa Adamu
Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura of Nasarawa state has blamed elites of Bassa and Egbura ethnic groups of been behind the crisis between two tribes of Toto Local Government Area (LGA) of Nasarawa state.
Speaking when he visited the Paramount ruler of Opanda Chiefdom and Chairman, Traditional Rulers Council of the LGA, Alhaji Abdullahi Usman, yesterday to commiserate with him on the ethnic crisis engulfing his domain, the Governor said the elites must to ready to take responsibility for the carnage that took place.
He said: “ this is because if the elites want peace and stability and have feelings for common men they would have come together to avert this crisis.”
He said he could not understand why elites who had lived and schooled together from time immemorial now found it difficult to overcome any differences between them.
“So, today I am here to say to the elites that henceforth I will hold you responsible for stagnating the development of this area. It is high time you got up and realize what you are missing and the kind of danger you are putting your people.
“I am saying this with all emphasis that if the elites across the board do not come together and breed peace history is not going to be kind to you.
I am here to say it is time to end the enmity and forgive and forget so that the mistrust would end with your generation.”
He called on the two warring tribes to desist from taking laws into their hands, adding that “because when the chips are down you would be judged for what you are responsible for because the law is not a respecter of anybody.”
He announced that he would be convening meeting between the two tribes to iron out the issue between, saying that “with what I am hearing from the leaders of Egburas and some leaders of Bassas I am confident that the problems between them is not impossible to solve.
“My government will deliberately find a way of smoothening the misunderstanding between you.”
Meanwhile, in continuation of the crisis in the area, some militias suspected to be Bassas attacked an Egbura community of Katakpa last Friday, leaving deaths and destruction of property in their trail.
The assailants who were said to be armed with dangerous weapons attacked the community for the second time since the crisis started last month.
According to a youth leader, Hamza Sani, the attackers arrived the community when most of the residents had gone to attend the swearing in ceremony of recently elected Councillors at the local government headquarters in Toto town.
He said the attackers had a field day killing and torching houses since there was no much people to confront them.
The attack on Katakpa came a few days, penultimate Tuesday, after the same attack took place in Kparache, an Egbura community under Koton Karfe LGA of Kogi state.
In the attack on Kparache, many people, including a younger brother of a former Chief of Amry Staff, Gen. Chris Ali, were said to have been killed.