Over 50 houses were burnt and eleven persons, including twins, were murdered in the early hours of Friday in two separate attacks carried out by suspected Fulani herdsmen on two villages in Plateau State.
Fulani Herdsmen President Muhammadu Buhari had barely left Plateau State when the attacks were launched on Ganda village of Daffo District in Bokkos Local Government Area and Miango village in Bassa Local Government Area. The communities were attacked few hours after the inauguration of Plateau State Peace Building Agency by the President, who was in Jos, the state capital, on a working visit.
The Spokesperson for the Miango Youth Development Association, Lawrence Zongo, identified the five persons killed in Miango as Emmanuel Joseph (16), Christopher Joseph (16), Peace Joseph (6), Henry Audu (25), Illa Isa Peter (52). Three of them were siblings, out of which two of them were a set of twins.
He added that Cenka Amos, four, who he said was seriously injured, was receiving treatment at Enos Hospital, Miango.
He said, “What happened to us is very bad, (it happened) despite the presence of President Muhammadu Buhari. The state government has been preaching peace but Plateau State went up in flames. Five persons, including a set of twins (Emmanuel Joseph and Christopher Joseph) and their brother, Peace Joseph, were killed.
“We have been devastated and shocked. Despite all the peace meetings with the Fulani people, the assailants keep killing our innocent people without provocation. It is sad that the military cannot arrest the Fulani persons behind the killings. The government has failed in protecting lives and property of citizens. Our demand is that the perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted.”
The National President of Irigwe Development Association and a former member of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Sunday Abdu, also confirmed the casualty figure of the Bassa attack, while the Spokesperson for Bokkos Local Government Area, Jerry Datim, confirmed that of Ganda.
Abdu said, “Yes, it is true that five people were killed in Miango by Fulani herdsmen in an attack which took place on Thursday night and lasted till the early part of Friday. Others were wounded in the unprovoked attack. The bodies of the five slaughtered people have been deposited at the hospital morgue. We are no longer in a hurry to bury our dead. Whenever we are going to bury them, we will let you people know.
“The Fulani herdsmen are killing us but they are the ones crying. What kind of pretence is that? I still appeal to the security personnel not to relent, but to step up vigilance and surveillance to stop this pogrom and unwarranted carnage.”
Datim said that “over 50 houses were burnt, six persons killed at Ganda, while several persons were also injured and rushed to the hospital.”
A lucky survivor, Matawal Mangut, who lost five brothers to the attackers in Ganda, lamented that their house was burnt completely and that everything they ever worked for was gone.
He called for “assistance from the federal and state governments” to help protect them from the persistent Fulani herders’ attacks in the area.
When contacted, the Spokesperson for Plateau State Police Command, Matthias Tyopev, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, confirmed the killings, describing it as “culpable homicide and grievous hurt.”
Tyopev also gave the names of some of the deceased persons but some of the details were different from the information provided by Zongo.
He said, “Yesterday (Thursday), March 8, 2018, at about 8 pm, some unknown gunmen attacked and killed four Irigwe people at Datanko village and one Fulani Christian at Nzharuvo village in Miango District. The deceased persons were identified as Emmanuel Joseph (male, 16 years), Christopher Joseph (male, 16 years), Peace Joseph (male, six years), Henry Audu (male, 25 years) and Samuel Isah (male, 48 years).
“Meanwhile, Samuel Isah has been buried, while four other corpses have been deposited at the Jos University Teaching Hospital’s mortuary. Chenka Amos, four, is still lying unconscious at Enos Private Hospital, Miango. The investigation is in progress; intensive patrol is being sustained.”
The Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (Plateau State), Mohammadu Nuru Abdullah, had on Wednesday alleged that there was a fresh attack on his kinsmen, which claimed three lives.
While it was not clear whether the allegation was true, investigations revealed that anytime MACBAN made such claims, including the rustling of their cows, there were always reprisals on communities.
Abdullah, had in a statement, said he was “overwhelmingly shocked” that the Irigwe militias, in an effort to accomplish their mission of terrorising Fulani herdsmen in Bassa Local Government Area, had on Monday, April 5, 2018, again attacked Fulani cattle herders and mercilessly killed three persons without any provocation.
He had identified the persons as Abubakar Shehu, Abubakar Gidado and Ishaq Yusuf.
“It is also disturbing that the Irigwe community would always trespass into other neighbouring local government areas, launch their attacks and kill our people for no reason.”
He had said, “On the same Monday when three of our kinsmen were killed, the same militias attacked and killed a total of 38 cows; 20 of the cows belonged to Wada Alh Audu, while 18 belonged to Umaru Ibrahim.
“The Irigwe militias usually cross into Riyom, Jos South and part of Southern Kaduna to strike. In this particular incident, they operated from Rukwechungu village of Miango district in Bassa Local Government Area into Gero village of Gyel district in Jos South Local Government Area.
“They also beat up and wounded Haruna Zakariya, who is now receiving treatment in a clinic at Rafin Bauna. It is on record that this militia group has been unleashing terror on our innocent cattle herders in the area.”