Following another terror attack by aggressive Fulani marauders in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria-ECCVN through its National Coordinator, Dalyop Solomon Mwantiri, Esq. visited the scene of the incident whereof it was confirmed that at about 8:20pm of 7th April, 2020, an armed invasion was meted out on Ngbrazongo village of Kwall District of Miango, Irigwe Chiefdom in Bassa Local Government Area, Plateau State. As a result, 4 locals namely, Pst. Mathew Tegwi (aged 27), minister in charge of ECWA Ngbranzongo, Mr. Adi Sunday, (aged 21), Duh Abba (aged 37) and Ishaku Clement (aged 12) were shot dead while Abba Yori and Monday Adams survived with fatal injuries and presently hospitalized.
The attack is said to have been unleashed by armed men suspected to be Fulani herdsmen who have continued invading the chiefdom in the recent times, especially Hukke village and other places that are presently witnessing resumption of carnages in spite of COVID-19, a global pandemic that ought to have caused stoppage to the inhumanity of terrorist elements who appeared not to stop at nothing until the entire ethnic nationality of Irigwe is entirely wiped out, going by the aggressors’ modus operandi.
Responding to the incident, Mr. Sunday Nhwie, the hamlet head of the affected area said, “..at about 8:20pm of April, 2020 when it was raining, we heard heavy gunfire by armed Fulani herdsmen who stormed our village, shouting their usual enchantment. Everyone took to his or her heel for safety. We lost 4 people including a pastor and teenage boy while 2 people were injured…”
In a further interview, Pst. Mrs Rose Mathew, wife of the minister of God killed during the attack bursted out in tears that, “..I’m in shock over the killing of innocent people among whom is my husband, who left me with pregnancy and two little children to fend for. I cannot be able to cater for them, for I’m down-cast by this uninformed exit of my dear husband whom I believe is resting at the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ; I need your prayers and intervention at this travailed moment I never contemplated, please..”
Among the hundred mourners were Chief Daniel Kadzia (village head of Kpasho raised concern on negligence of security agents and their lopsided deployment which placed the Irigwe natives at the receiving end of every attack usually perpetrated not only by Fulani, but also their hired mercenaries. Mr. Zarachi Sunday (Youth Leader of Kwall District and Chief Aweze Doro, the Vice President of Irigwe Development Association cried out for needed attention to the Irigwe chiefdom in view of the continued hostilities being visited on innocent locals who deserve Government protection but have been neglected. They passionately appealed to the appropriate authorities as well as spirited individuals to come to their aid and end the aggression of the Fulani herders.
Hon Musa Aga, member representing Bassa LGA at Plateau State House of Assembly lamented over the state of insecurity affecting his constituents in the recent times. He intimated the mourners that he had recently made frantic effors to have an interface with His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Plateau State over the security challenges confronting his people who are part and parcel of the State, but couldn’t have access due to COVID-19 pandemic which has become a global health challenge. The member equally recalled how his people have been recently subjected to series of attacks that claimed lives of at least 15 people within some weeks of March and April, 2020. He, however, admonished the mourners to intensify vigilance notwithstanding the terrible times they have found themselves in.
In view of the above narratives, ECCVN hereby-
1. Calls on securiry agents to assiduously swing into action to trail, arrest, investigation as well as prosecute the Perpetrators of the carnages;
2. Appeals for a declaration of Fulani herdsmen as “terrorists”;
3. Passionately appeals for deployment of security agents not only to the areas recently affected, but also other volatile villages so as to avert expansion of the attacks arithmetically spreading unabatedly; and
4. Solicits for materials intervention for the survivors of all the affected persons who are now left to their fate, especially the young pregnant widow with her little children.
The Centre similarly urges local villages and communities to wake up to responsibility of safeguarding their immediate environment through ceaseless watching, prayers, and also promptly report to security agents any suspicious movements despite hysterical disposition of the world over covid-19 pandemic.
By Dalyop Solomon Mwantiri, Esq.,
Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria-ECCVN