Our land under siege – Plateau community

Following resurgent attacks in some communities of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, the Miango Youth Development Association has cried out to the international community to rescue their land, adding that they are being terrorised daily by suspected herdsmen.

The group also alleged that the withdrawal of the military task force in Sector 6 codenamed Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) in Jos and environs, as well as Miango District of Bassa LGA, has heightened attacks on their people.

The group through its Publicity Secretary, Zongo Lawrence Nebant, said the government has failed in its responsibility to protect its people.

Nebant said, “A day after the withdrawal of sector 6 STF Command, Jos in Irigwe chiefdom, on 3rd May, 2019 by 10 pm, gunmen invaded two villages of Bassa Local Government, Hukke and Rikwechongu, suspected to be Fulani herdsmen. They killed two people, a mobile police officer killed by gunshot and a 63-year-old man was burnt beyond recognition in his room.

He added that, “A 10-year-old girl survived with gunshot wounds in Hukke, 75 houses with food stored and two churches were burnt and razed down, they destroyed farm produces worth millions of naira and a lot of domestic animals were killed, monies stolen and no any intervention from the Federal Government or a press release by Nigeria Police Force to confirm the incident.”

The Association denied the killing of cows in Irigwe chiefdom, stating that no herdsmen in the area lodged such complaints.

“We will like to make it clear again; we are not aware of any cow killed in Irigwe chiefdom by our youths. We know the Fulani’s who are with us and none of them complained of a missing cow.

“How on earth can we kill 319 cows a day with machetes, it is impossible, we are not butchers but farmers. If the only government will compensate the Fulani’s for false claims, we need to be compensated too”, he maintained.

“Thousands of houses were burnt and razed down with churches, many farm produces destroyed worth millions of naira many survived injuries and hospitalized. We lost hundreds of our people because of the activities of the Fulani militias in the past three years.”

The group further alleged that, “Genocide attack by the Fulani militias is an ethnic cleansing not only in Bassa but in rural areas of Bokkos, Mangu, Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Jos South, Jos North L.G.A of the State and other parts of the country dominated by indigenous farmers.”

Nebant called on the international community and other concerned individuals to assist Irigwe chiefdom to empower their farmers and rebuild houses burnt by the militias for over 3 years and investigate the killings.

He urged Irigwe youths to continue to be law abiding citizens and not to take the law into their hands, but to be self-protective.

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