Suspected herdsmen have reportedly killed a Zaki Ukovur, a monarch in Karmen village, Ibi local government area of Taraba state.
According to The Nation, 28 other people were killed in the attacks which took place between Tuesday and Wednesday.
At least nine people were said to have been killed in separate attacks in Gishiri, Dooshima and Danwaza villages of the state, while 11 people, including women and children, were killed in Wukari and six others in Gassol.
The Taraba State Broadcasting Service (TSBS) had reported that two people were killed when gunmen attacked Donnada village in Lau local government area where a mass burial of more than 68 persons took place on Tuesday.
Bala Bako, caretaker chairman of Ibi local government, who confirmed the attacks and killings via telephone, said the killers operate on the same network as the gunmen who attacked Logo and Guma local government areas of Benue state earlier in the month.
At least 73 people were killed in the attacks.
Bako said in Ibi, the gunmen reportedly struck when the people of the area had gathered for a security meeting.
He explained that worried by incessant attacks by the herdsmen, the people had converged to seek a solution, but the meeting had hardly begun when some “Fulani marauders” emerged from the bush.
Bako said: “We are having security challenges in Ibi Council, and we have been making efforts to ensure that all the ethnic groups in our domain accommodate one another and live together peacefully.
“The chief (traditional ruler) of Ibi was able to set up a committee that was sitting to find a lasting solution to the problem. It was in one of the meetings that the Fulani gunmen attacked and killed the monarch.
“The people had gathered and were waiting for us for the security meeting when suddenly an armed Fulani man emerged and started shooting. The local chief was killed during the attack.”
Despite wielding guns, witnesses said, the attackers used sticks to hack the monarch to death in a gruesome manner.
“It was dreadful,” one resident said.
The council chairman said he mobilised security men who evacuated the corpse.
Like Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue, Bako said the killer herdsmen invaded Taraba from Nasarawa state.
“We share border with Benue and Nasarawa states, and most times, these Fulanis cross over from Nasarawa to attack and go back,” he said.
“We are trying to close all the routes they have been using to attack us. The killings in Dooshima and Gishiri, near Sarkin Kudu, were also done by the group which attacked Benue. On their way back to Nasarawa, they have been killing anyone they meet on the way.”
Confirming the attacks in a telephone conversation with the newspaper, Darius Ishaku, Taraba governor, said some communities were being attacked by herdsmen in the state even as he spoke.
“How can you be killing people because of grasses or cows?” he asked.
“Yesterday, they attacked and killed innocent people in Taraba without provocation. Today, an hour ago, they attacked some communities and killed people. Is that how people should continue to be killed?
“The killings by Fulani herdsmen in some parts of the country is more than the feud between farmers and cattle pastoralists.
“It is a drive for territorial control, and we need to protect the people. We must protect the country.”
Earlier in the week, herdsmen killed a farmer in Ogun state and a pregnant woman in Ekiti.
The Ekiti incident was a reprisal attack for the murder of a herdsman.