A traditional ruler and not less than four persons were on Tuesday killed by suspected Ambazonia fighters from Cameroon who stormed Manga village in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State.
Confirming this development to Leakblast via telephone, Chairman of the LGA, Shiban Tikari, said some others were still missing after the invasion.
He said: “Yes, Manga village in Shigom ward of Takum Local Government Area was attacked. A local chief was killed alongside four others. When the invasion started, many people fled.
“Some fell into the river, while others climbed the mountains to save themselves from being killed.
“As I speak with you now, we can confirm only five death because those bodies have been recovered. But people are adding those still missing to the number of casualties, that is why you will hear some say 9 or 11 were killed.
“The soldiers, police and other security operatives have also been deployed to the village. We are hoping that those that fled would return because we are still on the look out.”
However, younger brother to the slain monarch, Joseph Manga, who is an aide to Taraba State governor, Darius Ishaku, said about 11 persons were killed.
According to him, the Ambazonia fighters attacked some villages in Camerooon before crossing to the border community in Taraba State.
Reacting to the incident, Governor Ishaku said he was saddened by the invasion of some parts of Taraba State by foreign fighters.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Bala Dan Abu, the governor said lives were sacrosanct and should be preserved at all costs.
He urged the Federal Government to act fast to stop the encroachment of Nigerian soil by foreign fighters.
He also disclosed that the governor has informed security operatives about the incident.
Contacted, an fficer of the Immigration Service, who was on ground and confirmed the incident to Vanguard, said they called for reinforcement.
He also said soldiers from 93 Battalion, Takum and other security agencies have moved in to the affected community and border area.
He further confirmed that the casualty figure from the bodies recovered was five.
Vanguard also gathered that Taraba State Comptroller of Nigeria Immigration Service, CIS Nuhu Tanko Kutana, who was on official duty in Abuja, had to return to the state to attend to the emergency situation.
At press time yesterday, , Taraba State Police command was yet to get back to Vanguard.
Reacting to the attack, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday it was waiting for report from Nigeria’s mission in Cameroon.
Spokesperson of the ministry, Mrs Esther Sunsuwa, said: “ We are yet to receive any report from Cameroon but I promise you that as soon as the ministry receives the report, it will respond accordingly.”
But the Senate in its reaction, said the sovereignty of Nigeria as a country was currently under threat and called on the military to urgently swing into action to prevent the eventual occupation of Manga community by the separatists.
The Upper Chamber, thereafter, held a minute silence in honour of those killed by the Ambazonia separatists.
Resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a Point of Order by the Deputy Senate Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Taraba South, who drew the attention of his colleagues to the matter that Nigeria’s territorial sovereignty was under threat.
Bwacha, who came under Order 43 which is on personal explanation during plenary, bemoaned the killing of the village head of Manga community and some residents.
According to him, the invasion of the community by the separatists from neighbouring Cameroon led to the sack of residents of Manga village.
While noting that the affected village was 20 kilometers away from Kashimbilla Dam, Bwacha said: “I rise this morning (yesterday) to draw the attention of our country men and particularly our security agencies to this unfortunate incident which undermines our integrity and sovereignty as a nation.
“Takum local government houses the 23 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, and so Mr. President, it is my humble submission that the Nigerian Army should rise to the challenge and curb this wanton territorial expansion.
“Their (separatists) motive is yet unknown, whether they want to expand territory or lay claim for Southwest Cameron is not yet clear.
“As I speak, a number of individuals have gone missing and their whereabouts are yet unknown. The village also is razed down.”
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