By Emmanuel Awari, Jalingo
Jalingo, Taraba State – In a tragic turn of events, eighteen hunters have lost their lives in separate attacks perpetrated by bandits in Bali Local Government Area of Taraba State. The first incident occurred near Maihula town, where fifteen hunters bravely confronted a large group of bandits estimated to be over two hundred strong. Despite their valor, the hunters were no match for the bandits’ superior weaponry, and fifteen of them were tragically killed.
The second attack targeted hunters near Dakka town, where three more hunters fell victim to the bandits’ violence. These incidents underscore the escalating security concerns in the region, as bandits continue to wreak havoc, disrupting the lives of innocent civilians.
Adamu Dantala, Chairman of the Taraba State Hunters Association, expressed his profound sorrow over the loss of his members. He lamented the lack of adequate support for the hunters, who often stand as the first line of defense against armed assailants. “Hunters have sacrificed themselves to confront the bandits who have more sophisticated weapons in order to free the people from daily attacks and killings by bandits,” he stated.
Dantala urged the government and the community to provide the hunters with the necessary resources to effectively combat the bandits. “The hunters lack the capacity to fully confront the bandits who are over five hundred operating at different locations in the state,” he emphasized. “We need government and community support to fully arm us the hunters because we are not given any funds to support families of those killed or treat those injured,” he added.
Alhaji Mahamud Abubakar, the Kur Bali Chiefdom, also echoed the need for urgent action. He appealed to the Taraba State government to deploy security forces to confront the bandits, who are believed to number over five hundred and are using the mountains and forests in the area as their hideouts.
The escalating violence has also claimed the lives of two farmers in Yangtu Special Development Area. The farmers were working in their fields when they were attacked and killed by unknown gunmen. This incident highlights the broader security challenges faced by Taraba State residents, as both hunters and farmers are vulnerable to attacks.
The police have yet to make a statement regarding the recent attacks. However, the situation remains tense, and residents fear for their safety. The authorities must act swiftly to address the security crisis and bring the perpetrators to justice.