In a bid to find a lasting solution to the incessant Plateau attacks, several notable Plateau individuals have started lending their voices to the issues, by speaking up and demanding action in respect of ending the genocidal attacks which are threatening the cooperate existence of citizens in Plateau and has virtually rendered several villages and settlements extinct.
In one such efforts, Hon. Dachung Bagos – an erstwhile House of Representatives aspirant under the auspices of the PDP, has written a strongly worded appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, drawing his attention to the plight of Plateau citizens and requesting that immediate action be taken. The appeal is set to be published in several Nigeria dailies next week – it was kindly shared with ViewPointNigeria, see below:
Daily killing of women, children and farmers in Plateau villages
Mr President Sir – Firstly, I wish to congratulate you on your assumption of office as the democratically elected president of our great country, Nigeria.
As I congratulate you, I do so with tears in my eyes as a Nigerian citizen from what has now come to be known as the “the battle ground state” of Plateau. For the record, let me state that my ancestral heritage hails from Vwang district in Jos South Local Government, and therefore this problem is really close to my heart because it affects my immediate community.
The desire and wish of many Nigerian youths is to see that our generation enjoy many of the freebies and welfare packages that your generation enjoyed, like free education/scholarships, free medicare, peace & tranquility, and maximum security of life and property.
Unfortunately, the situation is rather different – we struggle daily with erratic power supply, poor sanitation, lack of portable drinking water, sub-standard education, unabated killings etc in this 21st century as though we are in the 15th century. These short comings really make me wonder when we shall really attain the status of “gaint of Africa” as we love to be called.
Sir, we on the Plateau toil so much as a people, we have tried to provide all the basic amenities we can, but the challenges of insecurity threatens us on a daily basis. It is unfortunate that up to now, we still have issues of killing and attacks in our villages by herdsmen.
We have tried everything humanly possible to deal with this situation, to no avail. They have murdered our wives, children and parents – several generations of families from the children to the grand parents have now been exterminated, yet the killing only seem to escalate as the days go by.
Our leaders sought to find an interim solution to the problem by calling them to the round table for dialogue, yet it appears they prefer the way of war not peace. As it stands, we can no longer go to the farm because of how many deaths have been recorded in such circumstances. Our schools are almost empty, because there are no more children left to go to school – they have all been decimated.
It would interest you to know Sir, that Riyom, Barkin ladi and parts of Jos-south are almost wiped off the face of the map. These aforementioned areas are predominately occupied by the Berom ethnic group – however, it appears competition for resources between the Berom natives who own the lands and the nomadic herdsmen has led to these incessant attacks. The strategies being used are almost akin to ethnic cleansing, because people are chosen and killed simply on the basis of their ethnicity and no other.
On the average, 10 people are killed every week in Riyom or Barkin Ladi – this cannot be acceptable under your watch as President of the Federal Republic. You rode on the mantra of change and we wish to see that change replicated in our villages.
Sir, as the President of all Nigerians and as a Fulani elder, could we appeal to your person to assist in bringing an end to the injustice which has been meted out to these communities. Plateau people are peaceful people but we rely on you now to maintain this peace.
- Please confer with the Fulani elders/community on the Plateau and ask that the attacks be halted. Enough blood has already been shed.
- Direct security agencies to step up efforts against these killings and bring those behind such acts to justice.
- Do away with the declaration of the state-of-emergency which appears comatose and set up command centres within our villages.
- Urgently direct NEMA or relevant agencies to begin the process of assisting Internal Displaced Individuals.
- Plateau youths are willing to suggest solutions if called upon
- Seriously consider constituting State Police as a means of dealing with this menace
Pardon the very frank tone of my submission. I feel very strongly about what is happening in my locality and I feel a sense of duty to speak-up for these innocent people are being maimed and killed daily. If we fail to act today, there is no doubt that the situation will consume us all in the future.
Thank you and may God continue to give you the wisdom to lead us in the right direction.
Dachung Musa Bagos
(Convener, Plateau Youth G17 Peace and Progressive Forum Jos, Plateau State, 08053217026)
Below are a few of the attacks in Plateau state in the last few weeks (Source: ViewPointNigeria)
1. 2nd May 2015: Twenty Seven (27) people killed as herdsmen attack a COCIN church in Forom. The reverend of the church, Rev. Luka Gwom and a lady who got married in the same building two weeks prior (Pauline) also killed.
2. 4th May 2015: Thirty (30) people killed in early Sunday attack on two villages in Barkin Ladi. 17 Killed Vat village and 13 in Zakupang
3. 6th May 2015: Two (2) people killed in Kakpwis village in late night attack. Deceased identified as Bot Joshua and Emmanuel Joshua.
4. 9th May 2015: Two (2) people killed in Bangai village of Barkin Ladi LGA.
5. 20th May 2015: Twenty Two (22) people killed near Kurra in Barkin Ladi LGA.
6. 29th May 2015: Over 500 gunmen attack Shonong village. 250 houses burnt and over 1000 people displaced.
7. 10th June 2015: Attack on 9 villages in Barkin Ladi leaves 20 people dead.
8. 11th June 2015: Attack on Rakung Village leaves 4 dead. Deceased identified as Pam Babel, Salome Pam, Luka Gyang and Joy Toma.
Note: these are only the killings in Barkin Ladi and RIyom the last few weeks.
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