Tawari attack: NGO relieves victims

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By Dada Ahmed in Tawari

Barely a month after many houses were burnt and lives lost, following attack on Tawari community in Kogi Local Government Area of Kogi state by unknown gun men,succour has come the way of the victims, courtesy of an NGO,Mental Health and Wellness Initiative (MHWI).

Donating the relief materials, the Founder of MHWI, Miss Salihat Badamasuiy, said the management of the NGO was touched by the plight of the victims and decided to render helping hand to cushion the effect of the attack on their social and economic life.

The founder,who was accompanied to the community by others of her team, expressed optimism that the visit was also to enable to assess the level of psychological trauma the the people must have gone through following the the attack she described as senseless.

Duaglobalnews recalls that the community came under a bloody attack on January 2, leaving 26 people died and about 50 houses, including religious buildings the palace of the traditional ruler of community burnt.

“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 scare 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 borrow a leaf from the NGO by assisting the community recover from the shock brought to bear on them by the attackers.

Receiving the items, the traditional head of the community, the Aguma of Tawari, Alhaji Idris Yusuf,thanked the NGO for the gesture.

Yusuf, led the MHWI team during the assessment of the damage done by the attackers, said he escaped death by the whiskers.

Moved to tears while leading the team on the assessment tour,Yusuf (78) said:”They burnt down my house and my car. My driver died in Abuja from the thick fumes he inhaled from the inferno.

“I escaped by the grace of God.”
“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 who had embedded on pesce mission, warned youths of the community to eschew attack, and commended Kogi State government for the timelyresponse to the incident.

Yusuf, however, appealed to government at all levels, civil society organizations and others touched by the plight of the victims to come to enable them rebuild the community and facilitate the return of the displaced people.

He also thanked the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for the relief materials donated to the community, and promised to ensure that the items were judiciously distributed to the affected people.

Items donated by MHWI include: several tubers of yam, groundnut oil, red oil, semolina, noodles, branded T-Shirts, among others.

The organisation said that there was also a plan to sink a bore-hole and work with stakeholders to light up the community with Solar power.

Earlier, the team visited the Administrator of Kogi Local Government Area, Barr. Musa Muhammed Tanko at in Koton Karfe where Badamasuiy expressed the commitment of the NGO to addressing mental health challenges in Nigeria.

Tanko also commended the organization for the gesture and pledged his unalloyed support in any area his office would be needed assistance to bring smile on the faces of the people again.

“I must commend your decision to take this bold step in sparing thought for the people of Tawari; you have taken a giant stride, working on healing the psyche of our people.

”As the chief executive of the local council, I pledge my support in whatever capacity required of me to bring smile to the face of the sad people of Tawari community”, Tanko said.

The group also paid homage to His Royal Majesty, Alhaji Abdulrazak Gambo IsaKoto, the Ohimege Igu of KotonKarfe, who described the Tawari attack as an act of terrorist.

The monarch thanked the group for focusing on the mental well-being of the society, noting that the visit was timely and strategic.

“Tawari is not only a remote community but has a rich history. What happened there can only be likened to a terrorist attack on the defenseless people.

”Even though the trauma would take time to heal, the visit by MHWI would lift their spirit”, Ohimege said.

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