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In the early hours of Monday, October 16, 2017 the Nkyie Doghwro community in Bassa LGA of Plateau State was enveloped in pain and anguish following the vicious attack on unarmed natives by some unknown gunmen. Similar attacks on Taagbe village in Miango District left scores of charred and mutilated bodies in their wake.
At least 29 people were said to have lost their lives in the senseless attacks with dozens of others sustaining injuries of various proportions. It is needless to add that several houses were razed to the ground by the attackers suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, just as other valuable property were destroyed.
It has been difficult to establish the cause of this latest round of attacks and killings in rural communities on the plateau, which has unfortunately become the lot of the locals in that part of the country.
We condemn in the strongest possible terms the frequent wanton bloodletting being perpetrated by Herdsmen on the Plateau and indeed in other Northern states, especially Benue, Taraba, Kaduna and Nasarawa.
It is saddening that although these attacks have continued unabated, security agencies have hardly arrested any culprit, not to talk of bringing anybody to justice.
We are further appalled that last week’s ugly incidence happened despite the fact that useful and timely security information was said to have been provided to some security personnel regarding movement and mode of operations of the suspected assailants.
If this was the case, what then is the essence of state security? It is this poor handling of security issues that makes some communities resort to self help in the bid to protect themselves.
This attack, just like similar ones in the past, has created a sense of insecurity and fear amongst the rural dwellers. In the same vein, the attacks have caused a major dislocation in the social and economic lives of the survivors in the communities, as dozens are said to have fled the to neighbouring communities for fear of future attacks.
As painful and devastating as the attacks were, it is relieving that President Mohammed Buhari, immediately directed security agencies to intervene and bring the violence to an end. But must hapless citizens wait for presidential directives before they enjoy protection against the blood thirsty Herdsmen? What has happened to the nation’s intelligence system and security network? The answers to these posers can best be provided by the Plateau State Police Command and other security agencies in the state who failed in their duty to be vigilant against crime.
We call on the Federal government to immediately address the security situation in Bassa LGA along side other flashpoints, especially in the North- central part of the Country where Herders and farmers clashes have become the order of the day.
We condole with the families who lost their loved ones in the senseless attacks and appeal to the Plateau State Government to take steps to protect other communities in the state prone to these attacks.
The State Government should also move quickly to extend medical support to those injured and relief to those displaced, as well as those whose houses were razed down by the attackers. This is the very least the State Government can do to enable the victims and survivors pick up the bits and pieces of what is left of their lives.