Below are pictures of what has become a daily occurrence in Plateau state. Six attacks have occurred in six days. And in all cases, rumours of the attacks were prevalent and like the certainty of the sun rising, they happen.
Deep soul searching needs to be undertaken by the Plateau State Government and security forces. They both need to rethink their strategy and put heads together on how to fully safe-guard the population.
So far, imposing curfews on conflict areas have not worked and engaging/signing peace pacts with assailants have also failed woefully.
The only thing that has been consistent is PLSG’s resolve to shield the identity of the so called “unknown gunmen” and its inability to muster the courage to boldly declare that Plateau does indeed have a problem with herdsmen attacks and then challenging Buhari to break his complicit silence and stamp out the menace.
You will agree that the first step to solving any problem is to first acknowledge that the problem does indeed exists -so far PLSG has failed to do that. If it continues to pretend that there is no problem or that the “clashes” are because of cow rustling or theft, then blood will continue to flow.
The issue on ground goes beyond the trivial rustling cases, it is a land issue which predates our grand parents (even to the 7th generation) . It is about the control of the resources – i.e., whether Plateau lands are for natives to farm or for herdsmen to graze their cattle (grazing reserves).
In summary, the much malign grazing reserves policy which was wholly rejected by Plateau people appears to be getting implemented by via option B (i..e, the forceful/attack strategy). And unfortunately we continue to play politics with the issues.
Above: Youths digging the burial site (mass grave)
Above: The dead, including women, children and the aged
Above: Approximately 20 people killed in a classroom. Witnesses claim they were ushered into the classroom by soldiers before their summary execution by assailants.
Above: Class room housing 15 bodies, where witnesses said soldiers ushered the dead into, before they were killed by assailants
Above: The dead being prepped for mass burial
Above: Bullet shells that have left a trail of death
Above: OPSH stationed in the area to prevent further attacks/reprisals
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