By Musa Adamu
The Ohimege Opanda, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Usman Abdullahi, said the lack of intermarriage between Egbura and Bassa ethnic group was not limited to the Egburas alone.
The Paramount ruler who is also the Chairman of Traditional Council of Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa state said absence of marriage relationship with Bassa extends to other ethnic groups in the area.
The Governor of Nasarawa state, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, had on a visit to the area wondered why there was no history of intermarriage between Egbura and Bassa after decades of coexistence.
Speaking with newsmen at his Palace in Umaisha, the headquarters of the Kingdom during the just concluded Ed-il-fitr, Alhaji Abdullahi, said though he appreciated the Governor’s concern, Egburas were not the only people without marriage relationship with Bassa, saying other major ethnic groups in the area such as Gade, Gbagyi and Ganagana do not marry from them too.
He further said this trend was not restricted to only the area or Nasarawa state, adding that even the Igalas and Nupes of Kogi state do not marry from Bassas even when they had been coexisting since time immemorial.
He said although the reason behind this could only be provided by the Bassas, he however said it might be because people were generally wary “about those who wake up one day and start killing, burning and destroying properties of others without justification.”
The Ohimege who emphasiesd his gratitude to Governor Al-Makura for his prompt response which brought the security situation under control, further appealed to the Governor to go after the Bassa elites he said were the Sponsors of the mayhem so as to permanently bring the situation to the end.
He said it was the only way the state government can send out a strong message that no body was above the law.
He said: “Nigeria belongs to all of us. A single ethnic group can be allowed to continue to hold others to ransom. Bassas are not the only ethnic group in Toto LGA. We have others such as Egbura, Gade, Gbagyi, Ganagana, Hausa, Fulani, Nupes and so on, so they can’t be allowed to always employ violence to resolve issues or have their way.”
Meanwhile, in continuation of the security situation in the area, armed men suspected to be Bassa militias, on June 16, 2018, attacked a vehicle travelling between Umaisha and Ugya, injuring one person while two others managed to escape into the bush.
Speaking to newsmen, a youth leader, Umar Shehu, said there was need for security personnel to act more because the Bassa militias had now resorted to guerrilla warfare, a development he described as more “dangerous than open confrontation.”