True to the security information made available at about 8:30pm of 23rd May, 2021 that there would be an armed invasion by Fulani militias from Fass (renamed as “Tafawa) settlement against villages of Kwi Community and its bordering areas to be on a red alert, a village/hamlet known as Kohorok of Kwi in Riyom LGA of Plateau State was invaded by the said militias who surrounded the unsuspecting villages and shot dead 8 people including women and children namely,
Mr. Sam Bulus, 21 years
Mr. Ezekiel Dung, 30 years, left 3 children
Mr. Pam Samuel, 20 years
Pam Esther, 5 years
Leah Pam, 7 years
Miss Noroh Gyang, 19 years
Mrs. Garose Dung, 81 years
Mrs. Jessica Monday (pregnant woman) 18 years while Mrs. Kangyang Gyang, aged 48 sustained varying degree of injuries.
During on the spot assessment in Kohorok where thousands of mourners assembled to bid farewell to the deceased persons, it was gathered that the unarmed native inhabitants are in a high apprehension of Fulani attacks as “..we became very apprehensive when we got an information that we would be attacked by Fulani militias from Fass, a nearby Fulani settlement. The information was quickly shared to the relevant authorities including security agents, believing there would be a proactive measure but none until the attackers came and had their field day with no single resistance/repellant, ” an anonymously pleaded source narrated.
Similarly, the Ward Head of Kwi, Da Joshua Dung expresses sadness over what happened. He said, “at about 11:00pm, there was an attack on this hamlet by not yet identified persons suspected to be Fulani militias who spoke in Fulfude during the operation.” He added that, “this is not the first time we experienced this kind of a pogrom especially, in the recent time of renewal of insecurity in Plateau State” as he pleaded for direct intervention from the security since the village remains very vulnerable.
Another response by the village head, Mr Pius Mwanta said, “when we were on watch at about 11:00pm, armed Fulani militias surrounded this village and shot dead 8 people with one injured. Sadly, no security agent came for our rescue except except this morning that personnel of Nigerian Police Force from Riyom Division arrived and later on, STF came.”
In the same vein, Rev. Victor P Gwom, the pastor in charge of Church of Christ in Nations of the area responded to interview that, “we received a text message that Fulani are coming to attack us. Though we never knew from which direction the attackers would come. we immediately circulated the message, alerting everyone to be on the watch until late night time when Fulani came with heavy gunfire and started killing our people.” He further buttresses the fact of land grabbed presently under the occupation of Fulani herdsmen wherefrom a lot of attacks are unleashed with intent of ethnic cleansing for domination. He said, “as pastor in charge of these people, I can’t leave my congregation simply because they have been under siege and series of attacks by Fulani militias, but have chosen to be here so I could encourage them in the Lord” as a Shepherd of God’s flock.
Other responds including Dr. Dauda Gyemang condemned the act as barbaric and inhuman, and therefore calls on relevant authorities especially, the Police Force to commence preliminary investigation to fishing out the perpetrators of the dastardly act of the genocide meted out on the natives of Kohorok.
Aside the Kwi incident, Irigwe ethnic extraction in Bassa and part of Jos North LGAs are, in the recent time, subjected to incessant armed aggression and invasion by other groups of militias suspected to be Fulani herders who have killed not less than 21 people within 5 days at Dong community of Jos North LGA and Jebu Community of Bassa LGA of Plateau State.
Confirming the incidents is a youth activist who pleaded anonymity spoke to ECCVN that, “as from Friday, 21st to Wednesday, 26 May, 2021, the Irigwe ethnic nationality has sadly lost not less than 21 people gruesomely murdered by heavily armed Fulani militias with no or little intervention from security agents.” He also pointed out another fact of invasion against Zangwrang village that borders with 3rd Army Division where many houses were set ablaze in the night of 24th as the invaders enjoyed field day of operations with no eyebrows raised to that effect. Such inaction on the part of Government especially, security agents has apparently given an impetus to the marauders to spill out blood of precious lives on the Plateau.
For these gory incidents to end, Government must explore the path of justice, equity and good conscience which would give no room for lopsidedness, sentiment and biasness in community peace building for national cohesion.
Dalyop Solomon Mwantiri, Esq.
Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria-ECCVN