A TEXT OF PRESS STATEMENT ON THE RECENT CARNAGE IN PLATEAU STATE, DELIVERED
REFORMED YOUTHS MOVEMENT OF NIGERIA (REYOM)
PLATEAU STATE CHAPTER
It is dispiriting to hear the narratives of a community once in a peaceful, harmonious and fraternal coexistence with each other going into crisis today. A community where many Fulani speak the Irigwe language and many Irigwe speak the Fulani language. Especially in a time where the Governor and his team had worked tirelessly not only in rhetoric but had invested time and resources in the peace building process that had restored relative peace in the state and in reflection the state had experienced a remarkable growth in both local and foreign investment as well as the rapid spring up across the state of small and medium sized enterprise. In the euphoria of this effort and the result achieved the enemies of the state had struck once more in a hapless manner. The ordeals so far have been recorded as follow:
Plateau State came under series of dreaded attacks in the early hours of Friday the 8th of September, 2017 where over 20 lives were lost and properties pillaged as well as residents sacked in Miango, Bassa Local Government council, Plateau North senatorial district of Plateau State. But this is without a fore knowledge of what it is to come as herders had actually been lurking around the region in protest of an alleged abduction of a 16 years old Fulani boy who was announced missing on the 3rd of August, 2017 and was later found headless in Dantanko village. This event followed a fortnight incident in Bokkos Local Government Area where five people were reportedly gunned down. These attacks have continued in sequence; on September 7th, 2017 on the 16th anniversary of the dreaded Jos crisis of 2001 where over 2000 people were killed. 19 members of a family were killed and over 10 houses burned in Ncha village, on October 8th, 2017 one person was killed and another injures in Nkie Dongwro, on September 9th, 2017 a villager and a soldier were killed in Hukke village, on October 11th, 2017 three lives were lost and houses destroyed in an attack on Nzhweruvo and Tafigana,
In an endeavor to arrest the unremitted carnage on the 13th of October, 2017 the peace loving governor his Excellency Rtd. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong announced a dusk to dawn curfew in Bassa Local Government Area but to the appall of many well-wishers on October 14th, 2017 six people were killed and over 10 houses burned in Taegbe Village and Just recently over 29 persons were killed in a renewed attack in the early hours of Monday 17th October, 2017 in Nkiedonwhro Village of Irigwe chiefdom in Bassa Local Government Area. This is in defiance to a dusk to dawn curfew imposed by the state government which was violated by the attackers.
In a chat with the acting state coordinator Reformed Youth Movement of Nigeria (REYOM) Mr. Andrew Augustine Umaru a political analyst, human right advocate and a lecturer in Jos, Plateau State he said the Reformed Youth Movement of Nigeria Plateau State chapter in conjunction with her national body Out rightly condemn the plateau carnage and have this to say:
- The Government must do everything possible within the confines of the law to arrest this incessant murder with impunity of innocent citizen of Nigeria by this group of bandits and should adopt peaceful resolution to end this carnage.
- We call on all residents of the affected villages to act lawful in dealing with the happenings, maintain calm and corporate with the security agencies with useful information in their quest to end this acts and restore peace back to the villages
- The government must go into the bushes fish, out these killers whom have decided to exterminate lives in the name of reprisal and make the face the wrath of the law, they must as well go into the villages arrest and prosecute all those connected to the killing of the 16 years old boy that has led to this carnage
- We urge the Federal Government of Nigerian to investigate the circumstances surrounding these killings, and to take action against alleged members of the military who are found to be guilty of either a dereliction of duty or complicity in the killing.
- Put in place a more effective response mechanism to transmit information fast enough to help curtail future tendencies as well as avert reprisal by aggrieved persons or groups.
- Government at state level must look at ranching approach as practiced in many advance countries as a means to sustainable peaceful coexistence. The government can assist with soft loans to herders and map out a feasible plausible timeframe to make ranching a reality.
- Our heart goes out to the governor of Plateau State his Excellency Rtd. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong and his team, the people of the affected villages and every aggrieved group for their respective loses and pray to god to comfort them all
- Pray that the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of god rest in peace
Mr. Andrew Augustine Umaru
For REYOM Plateau State Chapter