By Christiana Gokyo, Jos
Following the recent attacks on the people of Irigwe (Miango) community in Bassa local government council of Plateau State, which started on the 7th of September, 2017, killing about 20 people, as well as houses being burnt down, the community has condemned the attacks in strong terms.
Addressing a press conference in Jos by the community, Hon. Sunday Abdu expressed sadness over the attacks, while decrying the imposition of curfew in the area as having all but negative impact, since “the siege has continued till date.”
He further explained that, the Fulani herdsmen do not respect the curfew, saying the curfew was only for the Irigwe people and not for the marauding herdsmen.
Hon. Abdu said it is painful to note that all this happened despite useful and timely information provided to security personnel, regarding movement and mode of operation of the assailants, the attacks have continued in sequence and stopped.
The spokesman urged the government to do the needful – that is, to stop these nightly attacks on their people, adding that curfew should not be used as a weapon of war on their people.
According to Abdu, “up till now, no attackers have been arrested or driven away, but only been seeing the security personnel only mounting check points and operating questionable card on and search operations for non existing weapons in our peoples homes.”
He further explained that women and children are displaced, while feeding has become impossible in homes that accepted refugees, and their people cannot go to farm to harvest for fear of the attackers.
Hon Abdu maintained that “no aid agency, government or private organization has visited the community to provide relief materials; we are left at the mercy of our fate,” and urged government officials, all relevant stakeholders to take practical steps at serving the people.
He said “the attacks took place in this Villages: Ncha, Hukke, Nkie Dongwro, Kpachudu, Nzhweruvo and Tafigana, Rikwe Chongu, Taegbe and Nkyie Doghwro.”
On the other side of the coin, the Fulani cattle rearers have expressed dismay over the killings and beheading of six (6) innocent Fulani cattle rearers on Sunday, October 15, 2017, by the Irigwe militia in Kuri Village of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau state.
The incident occurred at about 3pm on the fateful Sunday when the Fulani, while grazing their cattle at Kuri Village in Bassa LGA were attacked, slaughtered, beheaded and their heads carted away by the Irigwe militia.
A statement, signed and issued to newsmen in Jos, by chairman MACBAN plateau state chapter, Nura Muhammadu Abdullahi, noted that a total of forty (40) sheep, nine (9) cows were machete and killed, and a total of two hundred and thirty-two (232) herds of cattle belonging to the families of the deceased persons were rustled.
According to the statement, the incident was immediately reported to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Bassa Local Government Area and Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), Sector 6, who visited the scene and confirmed the dead and burial.
The Irigwe community, while calling for government’s intervention, said “We are peace loving people; therefore, we are calling on Plateau state Government and security operatives to investigate, fish out the killers and take necessary action that will stop future re-occurrence.”