Irigwe community of Bassa LGA of Plateau State, under the aegis of Irigwe Development Association (IDA), has lamented over the continuous destruction of lives and property in several of their villages by Fulani herdsmen and therefore called for the deployment of the army to prevent the annihilation of Irigwe people.
In a press statement signed by President, Irigwe Development Association (IDA), Sunday Abdu and dated 3 April 2020, has as it’s title “RESUMED ANNIHILATION AGENDA IN IRIGWE LAND”.
The statement reads: “Recently the land has not known peace owing to the wicked activities of herdsmen who have continued to destroy farmlands in an attempt to weaken the economic life of our people.
“While our people have continued to remain indoors and law-abiding in the wake of the national outcry over the virus, the assailant Fulani herdsmen have continued each day within the last two weeks, to visit us with mayhem.
“On Wednesday, 1 April, Ancha, one of our troubled communities was visited once more in an attack that left three people dead and various houses razed. On Thursday 2 April, we woke up to bury six people burnt to death in Hukke from an overnight attack. Recently also, two young men were murdered in cold blood in Nkyiedongwro while returning from moulding bricks.
“As we prepared this release today, 3 April, the news came in that Nkyiedongwro suffered another night attack, such that there may be no house left unburnt.
“The dastardly activities of the assailants did not only end on us, as even the security personnel stationed to protect us have tested their venom when two of their comrades were murdered in cold blood. When this happened, we expected a more robust activity by the Operation Safe Haven to apprehend the culprits and bring their activities to a halt. Unfortunately, this ugly trend has continued”.
According to the statement, “the entire rigwe land commiserates with the military over the avoidable loss of its men who paid the supreme price while protecting our lives” and that “we are however worried by the recent withdrawal of men of the Special Security Task Force, Operation Safe Haven from our domain”.
The association, therefore, added that it has been over a week since the withdrawal of troops was done which gave room for the renewed attacks.
“That these atrocities have resumed, is the more reason we need security presence in our land”, Abdu stressed.
The association also wonder if her people are “paying the price for a crime that the Fulani herdsmen committed by killing the two soldiers in question?”
The association, therefore, expressed it’s concern this way: “We are deeply concerned about the obvious silence of the Plateau State government over this resumed hostilities on our soil. Is the government too concerned about the raging Coronavirus pandemic that we are almost abandoned to the gruesome activities of the Fulani marauders?
If the government does not rise to tackle this challenge, Irigwe land would be wiped off even before the COVID-19 comes close to Plateau State”.
She then appealed to the authorities to redeploy troops to Irigweland to avoid further destruction.
“We want to sincerely appeal to the military authorities to please as a matter of concern and urgency, redeploy personnel to resume security duties in our land.
“If during their presence the assailants dared launched attacks on our communities, what more now that they are withdrawn. We are tempted to feel that this withdrawal of troops may have given impetus to the rampaging herdsmen to continue or escalate their campaign of bloodsucking. We, therefore, appeal that the authorities immediately respond to our cry by returning the personnel”, the statement concludes.