News filtered in yesterday, Sunday 24 June, 2018 about the killings going on in Gashish District, Razat, Ruku Nyarr, Gana-Ropp, Shalong, Gwararza in Barkin Ladi Local Government and other communities in Riyom and Bokkos in Plateau State.
The clashes have been said to be beyond Farmer-Herdsmen conflict, but a deliberate attempt to conquer and occupy the land of people’s ancestral heritage. However, Miyetti Allah has responded to the tragedy, claiming that it is retaliation for the surge in cattle rustling in the state.
The chairman of the association’s north-central zone, Danladi Ciroma, claims that the indigenous Berom youths have been stealing cows from herdsmen, with about 300 cows lost to cattle rustling in the last few weeks.
In a statement made available on Daily Post, he said “these attacks are retaliatory. As much as I don’t support the killing of human being, the truth must be told that those who carried out the attacks must be on revenge mission.
“There have been recent reports of cow rustling and destruction of farms between Berom farmers and Fulani herdsmen. The people carrying out these criminal activities are well known to the communities but the communities are hiding them.
“Fulani herdsmen have lost about 300 cows in the last few weeks – 94 cows were rustled by armed Berom youths in Fan village, another 36 cows were killed by Berom youths. In addition to that, 174 cattle were rustled and the criminals disappeared with them to Mangu.
“Since these cows were not found, no one should expect peace in the areas. Even soldiers that went after the criminals to recover the rustled cows were shot by the armed rustlers and eventually escaped with all the cows.
“The government of Governor Lalong has done a lot to restore peace, but the criminal elements hiding among their people are the ones frustrating these peace efforts.
“Though the security agencies have tried, they need to do more by being fair to all parties; they should not neglect any report presented by Fulani of Berom because such report can lead to attacks and deaths if not properly handled.
“Criminals thrive a lot in Berom communities, but when the Fulani, who are always victims of their crime, react with attacks, they blame the government.
“These communities have leaders, why hide the criminals? They should fish out the criminals and hand them over to security agencies to avoid death of innocent ones.
“As it is today, the Berom man cannot go to farm, the Fulani cannot breed his cows in Berom Land.
“This can be stopped if the security agencies do more than what they are currently doing. The attacks will stop as soon as the security agencies stop Berom youths from stealing Fulani cows.”
With the increasing unabated carnage, comes some inexhaustible questions, but chief among these questions is; how do we unveil the monsters behind these killings that have successfully inflicted pain, maimed and sacked people from their homes, throwing many into great sadness.
The Presidency reacted eight hours after the unabated killings, expressing his grievance aver the incidence, and assured Nigerians that the culprits will be brought to book. Many who have reacted to this thought they have heard too many of these unfulfilled promises, and required a better strategy be deployed to curb the spate of killings in these regions.
Kingsley Moghalu a presidential aspirant on the platform of YPP also lends his voice on the spate of killings in Plateau. On his twitter handle, he said:
“The ongoing tragedy in Jos is just like ongoing tragedies across the country: Zamfara, Benue, the North East, and the menace of SARS. Nigerian life gets cheaper every day. Security reform is urgent to prevent a descent into anarchy.”
Reports has it that the onslaught and killings which started late on Friday lasted for over 60 hours non-stop. ViewPointNigeria reveals that all churches in the entire Gashish axis were empty on Sunday morning-as worshippers stayed away for fear of being attacked.
While the security operatives have been apportioned the largest blame since the incidence started on Friday. Issues of intelligence gathering and swift response have not been the forte of the Nigerian Security Operatives, many opined.
However, the police has released a press statement stating that the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris Kpotum has relocated Deputy Inspector General of Police, Dept of Ops to Jos, Plateau State. While Two (2) Helicopters, Five (5) APCs, Three (3) PMF Units, Two (2) CTU Cells and Police Intelligence Unit already deployed to the affected areas in Plateau State. In addition, Police Special investigation Team, comprising of IRT, STS and TIU led by Commissioner of Police, IGP Monitoring Unit already deployed to Plateau State and have commenced investigation.
“The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, concerned with the recent killings of innocent people in Barkin-Ladi (Gashishi), Riyom, Jos South LGAs and other flash points in the State with the attendant disturbance of public peace, clashes and mayhem that engulfed the affected areas in Plateau State on the 23rd and 24th of June, 2018 which resulted in the loss of several innocent lives, burning of houses and vehicles, and destruction of properties, has promptly deployed since on 24th June, 2018 the Police Special Intervention Force to Plateau State to Restore Lasting Peace in Barkin-Ladi, Riyom, Jos South LGA and other flash points in the State.
“Members of the public in the affected areas, other flash points or in any other location in the State in distress or with information to the Police Special Intervention Force and the investigation team can use the following numbers: 07059473022, 08038907662, 08075391844, and 09053872296.”