From Jude Dangwam, Jos
The President of Irigwe sociocultural organization known as Irigwe Development Association (IDA) Hon.
He said the land has not known peace in recent times owing to the activities of herders, who have continued to destroy farmlands in an attempt to weaken the economic life of their people and leading to loss of their loved ones.
Abdu stated this in a press statement made available to Journalist on Friday, in Jos the Plateau State capital.
He said the attackers had earlier on killed “two mourners at Kpenrie village on March 23, same day three children were also killed at Gbra Zongu village,” of Miango district.
“While our people have continued to remain indoors and law abiding in the wake of the national outcry over the coronavirus pandemic, the assailant Fulani herdsmen have continued each day within the last two weeks visit us with mayhem.
“On Wednesday, 1st April, 2020 Ancha, one of our troubled communities was visited once more in an attack that left three people dead and various houses razed. On Thursday 2 April, we woke up to bury six people burnt to death in Hukke from an overnight attack. Recently also, two young men were murdeed in cold blood in nkyiedongwro while returning from moulding bricks.
“As we prepared this release today, 3 April, the news came in that same Nkyiedongwro suffered another night attack, such that there may be no house left unburnt,” he stated.
He expressed concerned that the renewed attacks on villages by suspected Fulani herdsmen has also claimed the lives of two personnel of the Special Task Force charged with the responsibility of maintaining peace in Plateau State, some parts of Bauchi and Kaduna states code named “Operation Safe Haven (OPSH)”, while protecting the lives and properties of their people.
“The dastardly activities of the assailants did not only end on us, as even the security personnel stationed to protect us have tested their venom when two of their comrades were murdered in cold blood. When this happened, we expected a more robust activity by the operation safe Haven to apprehend the culprits and bring their activities to a halt. Unfortunately, this ugly trend has continued.”
‘The entire rigwe land commiserates with the military over the avoidable loss of its men who paid the supreme price while protecting our lives. The Paramount ruler, Braa Nggwe Rigwe, Reverend Ronku Aka, and myself, the president, Irigwe Development Association, have since send condolences to the operation safe Haven over the incident.”
He added that they are worried by the recent withdrawal of men of the Special Task Force Operation Safe Haven from their domain. “When this happened beginning from 21 March, 2020 we thought is was a routine military action, and expected to see another set deployed. But it has been over a week since that action was carried out, and here we are with a resumption of hostilities on our soil. We are confused and do not know what to make of this reality.”
The President accused the Plateau State Government of total silence over the happening in Bassa LGA. “We are deeply concerned about the obvious silence of the Plateau State Government over this resumed hostilities on our soil. Is the government too concerned about the raging coronavirus pandemic that we are almost abandoned to the gruesome activities of the Fulani marauders? If the government does not rise up to tackle this challenge, Irigwe land would be wiped off even before the COVID-19 comes close to Plateau State.”
He appealed to the state government as well as the Military authorities to as a matter of urgency, redeploy personnel to resumed security duties in their land pointing that, “if during their presence the assailiants dared launched attacks on our communities, what more now that they are withdrawn?.
” We are tempted to feel that this withdrawal of troops may have given impetus to the rampaging herdsmen to continue or escalate their campaign of bloodsucking, we therefore appeal that the authorities immediately respond to our cry by returning the personnel.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Gabriel Ubah confirmed that Police personnel stationed at Miango were asked to rushed to the village immediately. Though no report of arrest was made yet as at the time of filling this report.