The ongoing armed onslaughts by suspected Fulani militia have been recycled to Kwi community of Riyom Local Government Area, Plateau State where a group of armed men suspected to be Fulani militias attacked 2 Internally Displaced Persons-IDPs of Rachos hamlet in the evening hour of April 26, 2020. The development got to Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria-ECCVN through its National Coordinator, Dalyop Solomon Mwantiri, Esq. from Mr. Dung Tabari Pam, former youth leader of Kwi. Upon visit to the victims who are currently on admission at Nerat Hospital, Barkin Ladi, one of the victims was found critically injured. In an interview, he manageably struggled to express himself, saying, “my name is Yusuf Pam, aged 40 from Kwi.
At about 7:00pm or thereabout, my wife, Jumai Yusuf and I were on motorcycle going from Kuru to Kwi shortly after a rainfall yesterday, 26th April, 2020, armed Fulani herdsmen ambushed us along forest of Kwi after we had passed Haipang. When they stopped us holding sticks, cutlasses and rifles, we pleaded with them to allow us pass, but it fall on deaf ears as 4 among them mercilessly descended on us with heavy Strucks and cutlass hack targeting my head, where I sustained deep cuts and other forms of injury. Miraculously, my wife was able to escape with swollen hands arising from stick battering. When she took to her heel, the attackers ganged up on me and started an intense beating using sticks and cutlasses….I found myself being rushed to the Hospital by vigilante group whom I believed were informed.”
Before reaching the spot of the attack, Mr. Yusuf narrated that, “when we were approaching the forest, we passed 3 of our youth on their way going home from Haipang. We exchange pleasantries not knowing that in not less than 2 minutes, we would be under a tragedy. when it happened, I screamed out for help from the inhuman treatment that became obviously unbearable. I believed they youth heard me crying out, that is why they rushed to get me rescued.”
When asked as to the identity and number of the attackers, he responded that ” the attackers are fulani but can’t identify anyone of them though faces it was still little bright. However, they were many in number…not all them took part in the beating, but others who stood by both sides of the road were holding armed with touch-lights” he continually expressed his shock at what befall him and his wife, recounting the ordeal of 2015 when they were displaced from Rachos hamlet by armed invasion killers fulani orchestrated.
In addition to miseries of life the two IDPs have been plunged to, some valuables were carted away during the attack that led him ephemerally unconscious. He said, “I never knew what happened next until when I saw myself being taken to the Hospital by vigilante in company of the 3 local youth. I lost my 2 phones and #7900, believing that they were carted away by the attackers.”
“I’m requesting for intervention as a cannot foot the hospital bill being an IDP in my homestead, please”, he passionately appealed for assistance to settle the medical bill.
Mrs Jumai Yusuf said, “when we were moving, a group of Fulani attacked us and demanded for money and Handset from me but I told them that I don’t have either of the two. They continued beating us, but fiercely surrounded my husband, who cried out for help but to no avail. I thought my husband was already killed. I called out for rescue when I was approaching our community as vigilante responded swiftly to the scene and found my husband in pool of blood briefing between life and death” having been in pains as a result of severe strucks on her two hands.
In repsonse to the sad incident, former Youth leader of the community, Mr. Dung Tabari Pam reacted,
“we are deeply concerned and worried over the continued armed invasions by Fulani herders whom we believed are perpetrating these attacks basically not only to reduce our numerical strength, but also advance their uncivil course of land grabbing. We have been peace loving people, and will continue demonstrating same, for we will remain resolute as Plateau people. We are pleading with Plateau State Government and other constituted authorities to, as a matter of urgency, swing into action so as to get the actors arrested and prosecuted in this tough period of COVID-19 pandemic.” He described the attack visavis COVID-19 as two face of same coin. He said “we are approaching farming season which has previously been greeted with mischievous grazing and crops mowed down by the herders, who attack and kill at will like Coroner Virus. We call on Government to stem the recurrence of the unwarranted activities of the marauders who appear to have resumed their unprovoked hostilities on unsuspecting Plateau natives.
In another response, the traditional ruler of Kwi, Da Joshua Dung Kwon, condemned the resumption of armed attack by suspected Fulani herdsmen, saying that, “this is to instill another fear so that people will not farm in this farming season. This will invariably cause economic hardship as our people are mostly agrarian.” He helplessly lamented that, “I wonder how we are going to survive the two mosnters, COVID-19 and Fulani aggression that are ravaging from both sides. He however beseached appropriate authorities to swing into action before the terror snowballs beyond control, for hunger looms up in no distant time if proper measure are not taken to forestall the recurrence of unwarranted attacks on unsuspecting persons at this time the world is compelled to face the reality of global extinction.
The incident has duly been reported to Divisional Police Headquarters of Riyom as preliminary investigation has commenced.
Dalyop Solomon Mwantiri, Esq.
Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria-ECCVN