Plateau State has, again, been plunged into another state of mourning as unknown persons suspected to be Fulani militias are said to have ambushed and hacked down one Mr. Dung Yakubu Chong, age 45 to dead on the 10th December, 2020 at about 8:00pm or thereabout.
The deceased, according to local source, was hailed from Kum village in Riyom LGA. He was found to have been killed some metres away from a bridge linking the village and Riyom Community.
According to the source, the corpse was discovered at about 1:00pm of 11th December, 2020 after a vigorous search carried out by the deceased’s neighbours among whom was Mr. Dung Chollom who narrated to ECCVN that, “when deceased’s wife alerted us that her husband, for the first time, has not yet arrived home and his phone kept ringing through but no response, we immediately went out in search of him along the road to Riyom Community since it’s not up to a kilometer from Kum” he said. The exercise went on until about 1:00am when “we saw his Motorcycle and the dead body in pool of blood as a result of severe cuts that bartered Dung’s head just about 5 meters away from the road where the ambush must have been laid” he added.The gory development was reported to Divisional Police Headquarters of Riyom LGA and its personnel responded by visiting the scene to confirm the incident, after which they conveyed the corpse to Vom Christian Hospital where it was deposited until today, 14th day of December, 2020 when the burial held at his homestead, Kum village in Riyom LGA, Plateau State.
At the funeral service, thousands of mourners including high ranking pastors of Regional Church Council (RCC) of Vom, a Mass Choir of RCC Vom, District Head of Riyom, representative of Riyom Council’s Chairman and Director of National Cereals Research Institute among other critical stakeholders gathered to bid a farewell to the deceased. The service was greeted with songs of condolences and praises to God and testimonies about the spiritual and social life of Dung, who had served in many offices such as Choirmaster COCIN LCC KUM, RIYOM; an Assistant Choirmaster COCIN RCC TURU, and the Managing Director of WENG Computer’s RIYOM in addition to the Federal Civil Service work at Accha Office in Riyom under NCRI. He had also served as Youth Leader of Kum Development Association.
It’s worth noting that, Mr. Dung left behind to mourn him are his wife, Mrs. Hanatu Dung and 4 children, two of whom are in Secondary School while other in Primary School, an aged mother with other dependants looking up to him.In a reaction to the ttagic development, Mr. Dalyop Ezekiel, youth leader of Kum village expressed sadness over the continued killings of native Christians in villages of Riyom LGA and other villages in Plateau State and its environs by either Fulani herdsmen or their cohorts which have become appalling so much that hope on Government protection is now fizzled out.” He emphatically stressed that “the killers of Dung Yakubu Chong are suspected to be Fulani militias, for we received several text messages that Kum, Byei, Wereng among others have been earmarked for attacks which came to past.” He reiterates the killings in Wereng, K-Vom, and other places have been attributed to heinous activities of dreaded Fulani militias who have ravaged and continue to kill at will.One of deceased close friends, Mr. Shom Davou expressed nostalgic trauma the unfortunate incident caused not only him, but the entire team of friend as well as the family of the deceased. He said, “…Dung was a dedicated, trustworthy, honest and Godfearing friend gentle man full of humility, and who had immensely contributed to socioreligious life of whoever came in contact with him” and will be missed by all.
In another built up response from his working place, National Cereals Research Institute, Acha Office in Riyom, National Cereals Research Institute, Acha Station Riyom, Mrs. Wadiam S. Mamza said “it’s a big blow on us. We have lost a father and dedicated staff whom I learned humility, respect and any other food virtue.. but his life came to an end in the hands of unknown herdsmen..”
In the same vein, Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Riyom LGA lent his voice over the ongoing killings which have potency of wiping out the Church of Christ in this part of the globe yet, there is no arrest. He pleaded with believers to be “cautiously watchful in order to avert the recurrence of similar tragedy aimed at cleansing us.” This was strengthened by condolent message of His Royal Highness of Riyom District, Da Samuel M. Jok. Among those in attendance including the representative of Riyom Local Government Council’s Chairman.
During sermon presented by Rev. Yanshwar who took his message from Psalms 46:1, it states that the Lord is the refuge of those who wait on him, that he will come back to take all believers home thus, nothing including persecution should ever separated believers from the love of God.Going by the present factual realities confronting native Christians Communities and villages, it becomes duty bound as statutorily required and morally imperative on the part of Government to either rise up to the occasion of the pervasive insecurity being witnessed, and guarantee safety of lives and properties or legalise possession of firearms by private individuals for maximal exercise and enjoyment Fundamental Human Rights constitutionally provided without undue favor, so that everyone will factually attest that enabling atmosphere has been created for full protection, promotion and projection of such rights. Vigilance be intensified in every villages, especially, flashpoints areas.
By:Dalyop Solomon Mwantiri, Esq.Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria-ECCVN