From AMEDU JOSEPH, Lokoja
A non-governmental organization (NGO), Mental Health and Wellness Initiative (MHWI), has donated food items and other relief materials to the victims of Tawari attack to ameliorate their suffering.
It would be recalled that some unknown gunmen had on January 2 attacked Tawari community in Kogi Local Government Area, and killed 26 people, burnt down over 50 buildings, churches and the palace of the king of the community.
The MHWI Founder, Miss Salihat Badamasuiy, who led a team to the community, said the visit was informed by the need to assess the level of psychological trauma the villagers would be going through following the senseless attack.
“We are here to spare our thought for the people of Tawari community. The ugly incident is ungodly, wicked and condemnable as it has left a permanent scar on the psyche of the residents.
“They need every moral support to heal them of the trauma and depression that this unfortunate incidence has caused them”, she said.
She appealed to the local authorities and other spirited individuals to offer support to the community, while assuring that MHWI would gladly collaborate with willing authorities to provide succour to the community.
The traditional head of the community, the Aguma of Tawari, Alhaji Idris Yusuf, led the MHWI team through the community to assess the damage done by the attackers.
Recounting their losses, Yusuf said he escaped death by the whiskers, saying, “they burnt down my house and my car. My driver died in Abuja from the thick fumes inhaled from the inferno. I escaped by the grace of God”.
The 78 year-old Tawari chief narrated shocking revelation of the attack amidst tears and visible anger.
“I lost 25 people in one night and my driver who died in Abuja making the 26th casualty.
‘’The chief Imam of the community was writing his sermon for Friday prayer when they broke into his room and shot him at close range.
‘’Look at the village almost completely deserted. The few people left are living in fear. We are traumatized and that’s why I was excited about the news of your coming to see the carnage’’, Yusuf said.
The monarch said he had been suing for peace and had repeatedly warned the youth of the community against reprisal attack, while commending Kogi State Government for the prompt response to the incident.