The Bassa-Egura Conflict: Terror begets nothing but terror – Jibreel Gimba

“These violent delights have violent ends.., …for if My tongue will tell the anger of my heart, or else my heart concealing it will break.”
William Shakespeare.

Once again, I’m compelled by the vehement force of circumstance, not to cast aspersions, but to regurgitate the anger I had struggled over time to bottle up within my rending soul which has found solace only in the words I speak.

In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, _an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind;_ but I say, the eye which shuts its sight to human compassion truly needs to be plucked out.

The Bassa people of Koton-Karfe LGA in Kogi State have been the most peaceful to their Egbura neighbors when compared to the Bassas living together with the Egburas in other places where both tribes are found. This is not a hypothesis but a proven theory. I believe that the Egburas in Koton-Karfe can attest to this claim without any iota of doubt or misconception.

Since the unfortunate age-long conflict that has erupted between the Bassas and Egburas, and recently volcanized unto unprecedented level,  and which we have all been pointing libelous fingers of accusations at each other as to who is the original root cause of the pogrom, the Bassas in Koto LGA stand out as being absolved of any blemish animosity against their Egbura neighbors.

While we do not pray for the mutual coexistence between both tribes to change in this region, the measures of rascality being visited on our people in the area by Egbura rascals with their hit-and-run cowardly tactics might alter the equation.

Sometime last year, Kpereche, a Bassa remote village was besieged by these rascals, killing several Bassas despite the fact that they have not engaged themselves in whatever conflict with the Egburas; later on, Taware, another ancient Bassa settlement was brutally attacked by these rascals, where scores of individuals were murdered in cold blood including the chief Imam of the town. Now, it is Agbudu, which was ambushed in the depth of the night, for no reason except for the simple fact that they have chosen the path of peaceful coexistence despite the fact that they have seen and witnessed the brutality meted on their brothers in Toto and Bassa LGA and have also become hosts to some of the displaced persons.

To avoid the Toto scenario taken effect in Koto, and becoming a vicious chain reaction which will engulf the whole region, I want to call on HRH the Ohimege of Igu to display the character of leadership by bringing to an end these incessant killings of Bassas in his domain. The peace he and his people enjoy in his domain is not as a result of cowardice of the Bassas – as might be viewed by some. Nay! It is a display of goodwill, and should not be tested by rascals. The Bassas should not be held responsible for the breakdown of law and order in this region after three (3) barbaric, vicious and savage attacks on her people which has gone unanswered.

Warriors don’t beat the drums of war, cowards do!

There is a very big difference between bravery and rascality which I don’t need to expound.

The questions asked by those who carryout these attacks on our people is begging for answers – answers that the foe will not like to hear let alone behold.

While efforts are being made by men of goodwill to restore peace and tranquility to Bassa and Toto LGAs in both Kogi and Nasarawa States respectively, the stakeholders in Koton-Karfe LGA should not allow fools and rascals to spur the embers of war which will definitely spell doom for their peaceful region.

On a final note, I live you with this quote from Martin Luther King Jr (MLK):
_“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools”._

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