Following up on the killing of Mr. Musa Daniel Taka, the traditional ruler (Mai’angwa) of Kambang-Malul, Daffo District of Bokkos LGA, Plateau State whose life was untimely terminated by suspected Fulani herdmen on 14th June, 2020, ECCVN’s team with thousands of mourners attended the funeral service at the deceased’s homestead yesterday, 17th June, 2020.
In attendance also were high political representatives, religious and traditional rulers who greeted the farewell program during which sermon was delivered by Rev. Shedrack Samuel who took his message from Psalms 49:16-20, admonishing believers to be consoled that everyone including the killers of the deceased person will die. The minister of God concluded the sermon with words of caution centred on watching and praying against evil times such as this, everyone should be security conscious, avoid late hours movement and prayerful since Daffo District has become the theatre of terror attacks, leaving the inhabitants in a state of helplessness in terms of safety of human life and property.
Vigilance is said to be everybody’s primary business as ethno-religious cleansing apparently appears to have been declared by terrorist element.
In an interview, Mr Danjuma Taka, the escapee of the attack narrated that, “at about 8:30pm of Sunday, 14th June, 2020, the deceased and I were coming back from a program in a nearby village. I was in front while he followed me. Just some metres into our residence without any suspicion, I heard a sound of fallen down…. I looked back and asked him whether he fall down but he couldn’t respond. I drew back to lift him up, but was shocked to behold him in pool of blood.”
While Mr Danjuma was trying to extend helping hand to brother, the unidentified attackers flashed a tourch-light to possibly get at him but was able to escape with alarm which alerted locals who immediately rushed out for his rescue.
In a related response, Mr. Amos Daniel, a nearby neighbor who became victim of similar development said, “at about 5:30pm of 9th June, 2020, two Fulani grazed on my Fhonio(Acha) farmland situated at the backyard of my residence. I asked them to drive out their Cows, but they didn’t and rather asked me to get the Cows away from the farm if I can do that. Without any suspicion, the identified herders overran me with heavy sticks and injured me on my head and one of my fingers……” He also disclosed that the father of the herders took responsibility of his treatment as the Police mandated him to ensure that the attackers are presented to them for interrogation. Mr Amos registered his fear, saying that he might have been the target in that night, “… because that was the day I returned from the hospital, and the incident took place much more close to my house which is a little bit isolated at the outskirts of our settlement… since it’s known that the matter will be settled by the deceased the following morning”
According to the local source, it is pertinent to note that the matter was being handled by village head who had asked the parties to attend a meeting at his residence on 15th June, 2020 for possible resolution over the matter. Unfortunately, the umpire (deceased person) was visited with terror attack that engulfed his life, leaving back his wife, children and an aged mother.
It’s also gathered locally that the prime suspects are the Fulani who attack Mr. Amos as they have been known for their deadly activities previously witnessed, especially when they attacked and killed one local on his farm sometime back which informed their arrest but surprisingly released without trial.
In view of the above unfolded facts, it becomes imperative to swiftly get the prime suspects arrested for preliminary investigation, and if found wanting, be accordingly prosecuted so that peace and tranquility can be restored to Daffo District where food-basket of Bokkos and Plateau by extension is said to be traceable.
Dalyop Solomon Mwantiri, Esq.
Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria-ECCVN