A PETITION OF EMANCIPATION CENTRE FOR CRISIS VICTIMS IN NIGERIA-ECCVN IN COLLABORATION WITH ATAKAR DEVELOPMENT ASSOSCIATION-ADA, BEROM EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION-BECO, IRIGWE DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION-IDA AND RON KUNLERE DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION-RKDA, AGAINST LAND GRABBING BY FULANI INVADERS ON NATIVE COMMUNITIES IN PARTS OF BARKIN LADI, BASSA, BOKKOS AND RIYOM LGAs OF PLATEAU STATE.
THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE,
GOVERNMENT HOUSE LITTLE-RAYFIELD, JOS
THE SECRETARY TO THE PLATEAU STATE GOVERNMENT,
GOVERNMENT HOUSE LITTLE-RAYFIELD, JOS
ON 26TH NOVEMBER, 2021
- Plateau State of Nigeria has continued to witness increasing cases of attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen since 2001 on hamlets, villages and communities translating into destruction of houses, displacement of persons, illegal occupation of sacked hamlets and villages as well as the denial of access and seizure of farm lands against the provisions of the Land Use Act and, indeed, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). This is essentially the background for the enactment of the Anti-Land Grabbing Law of Plateau by the Plateau State House of Assembly, and signed into law by His Excellency, Rt. Hon. (Dr) S. B. Lalong on the 24th day of December, 2020.
- The Plateau State Anti Land Grabbing Law in its form and intent, as far as ECCVN in collaboration with Atakar Development Association-IDA, Berom Educational and Cultural Organization-BECO, Irigwe Development Association-IDA and Ron Kunlere Development Association-RKDA (hereinafter referred to as “the Associations”) are concerned, seek to add credence to the aforementioned legislations that prohibit any person or group of persons from the forcible takeover of land and/or landed property belonging to either a native, citizen, non-citizen or government in Plateau State.
- Presently, the inauguration of a Task Force to deal with the situation in line with the law is being awaited to provide necessary data and information about the scope, locations, and perpetrators of this crime preparatory to further State action and policies that would deliver justice to the victims in all fours.
- In the considered view of Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria-ECCVN and the associations (affected ethnic nationalities), this development is highly welcomed and, indeed, long overdue. It is also a golden opportunity for ECCVN and the associations, on behalf victims of land grab to petition the Plateau State Government on the following grounds:
- That all Communities and individuals affected by this crime should have unfettered access to justice as well as the opportunity to state their cases irrespective of either their knowledge or financial capacity to institute a legal action;
- While considering the impact of this crime on the victims, all dimensions of such an impact should be duly taken into account for the sake of justice, equity and good conscience; and
- The law in its entirety should be pursued and diligently implemented to its full extent in terms of the constitution and inauguration of the “Land Grabbers Task Force” according to Clause 22 and 23 p. 18 & 19 of Anti Land Grabbing Law of Plateau State, 2020.
- In addition to the aforementioned grounds, ECCVN and the aforementioned associations on account of this petition, herewith demand the following from the Plateau State Government:
- A clear State action/policy which enjoys adequate appropriation towards securing and the rebuilding of affected hamlets, villages and communities;
- Provision of Development Assistance for the purposes of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Restoration of affected hamlets, villages and communities; and
- Provision of a Medium and long-term Stabilization Grants and Projects of between 3-5 years and/or 7-10 years warranting start-offs of livelihoods, employment and skills acquisition upon the return of victims to their ancestral homesteads.
- For the avoidance of doubt, ECCVN and the said associations have provided below a list of hamlets, villages and Communities in the general area of Barkin Ladi, Bassa, Bokkos, and Riyom LGAs which have suffered and are affected by land grab.
- COMMUNITIES ANNEXED BY FULANI (JIHADISTS) IN PLATEAU STATE
|Rotchun (Renamed Rafin Acha)||Riyom||Riyom||10/9/2001|
|Rankum village (renamed Mahanga).||Riyom||Riyom||10/9/2001|
|Maseh (renamed “Lugel”)||Bachi||Riyom||7/7/2012|
|Kampwas, Shonong village||Bachi||Riyom||7/7/2012|
|Kasa of Shonong||Bachi||Riyom||7/7/2012|
|Nanja-Hei of Shonong||Bachi||Riyom||23/6/2018|
|Kuk of Shonong||Bachi||Riyom||23/6/2018|
|Zere of Shonong||Bachi||Riyom||23/6/2018|
|Nzong of Shonong||Bachi||Riyom||23/6/2018|
|Seh of Shonong||Bachi||Riyom||7/7/2012|
|Rahol of Tahoss||Riyom||Riyom||7/7/2012|
|Ranchol of Sopp||Bachi||Riyom||7/10/2013 & 30/8/2015|
|Nangam of Sopp||Bachi||Riyom||30/4/2014|
|Kak of Sopp||Bachi||Riyom||30/4/2014|
|Dajak of Sopp||Bachi||Riyom||30/4/2014|
|Nicha of Sopp||Bachi||Riyom||7/7/2012|
|Wull of Sopp||Bachi||Riyom||30/8/2015|
|Chicham of Atakar||Ganawuri||Riyom||8/2/ 2014.|
|Kirim of Atakar||Ganawuri||Riyom||8/2/2014|
|Ucham of Atakar||Ganawuri||Riyom||8/2/2014|
|Bassat of Atakar||Ganawuri||Riyom||8/2/2014|
|Mayit of Atakar||Ganawuri||Riyom||8/2/2014|
|Tingamagwe of Atakar||Ganawuri||Riyom||8/2/2014|
|Zadiyen of Atakar||Ganawuri||Riyom||8/2/2014|
|Bubwat of Atakar||Ganawuri||Riyom||8/2/2014|
|Lyoho of Jol||Riyom||Riyom||10/9/2001|
|Dakar of Jol||Riyom||Riyom||10/9/2001|
|Rachos of Kwi||Riyom||Riyom||2013|
|Gwara Dadep of Sopp||Bachi||Riyom||2011|
|Ningon village||Gashish||Barkin Ladi||7/7/2012|
|Bisichi (partly)||Foron||Barkin Ladi||30/4/2014|
|Rahol-Mazat village||Ropp||Barkin Ladi||14/4/2015|
|Kai village||Gashish||Barkin Ladi||19/2/2014|
|Bel of Sho||Ropp||Barkin Ladi||9/3/2015|
|Rahei Sho||Ropp||Barkin Ladi||3/4/2015|
|Zim village||Ropp||Barkin Ladi||19/5/2015|
|Jong village||Ropp||Barkin Ladi||19/5/2015|
|Rabuk village||Ropp||Barkin Ladi||19/5/2015|
|Luk-Fei village||Ropp||Barkin Ladi||19/2/2014|
|Ngio Gashish District||Gashish||Barkin Ladi||7/7/2012|
|Kachin Gashish||Gashish||Barkin Ladi||7/11/2012|
|Soi Gashish||Gashish||Barkin Ladi||23/6/2018|
|Ruku, Gashish||Gashish||Barkin Ladi||23/6/2018|
|Tissan, Gashish||Gashish||Barkin Ladi||23/6/2018|
|Rahwol Bachom (Angwan Alade)||Gashish||Barkin Ladi||21/2/2014|
|Kereng (Kafi Abu)||Gashish||Barkin Ladi||21/2/2014|
|Hwol Layal of Gassa||Ropp||Barkin Ladi||2001|
|Wong of Ropp||Ropp||Barkin Ladi||2007|
|Nshi-peng of Ropp||Ropp||Barkin Ladi||2007|
|Fagawang of Fan District||Fan||Barkin Ladi|
|Rarin of Sho||Ropp||Barkin Ladi||30/8/2015|
|Ku-jei Sho||Ropp||Barkin Ladi||2/2/2015|
|Pwabeduk Gashish||Gashish||Barkin Ladi||7/7/2012|
|Hyai village||Gashish||Barkin Ladi||7/7/2012|
|Sharu village||Gashish||Barkin Ladi||7/7/2012|
|Dogo village||Gashish||Barkin Ladi||7/7/2012|
- Furthermore, the Emancipation Centre for Crisis victims in Nigeria with the affected associations have equally provided an outline of the ramifications and impacts of land grabbed on its victims. These considerations are indeed, an integral part of the experiences of victims, especially in terms of inaccessibility to ancestral homelands, threats and intimidation, exploitation and general impoverishment which victims continue to suffer in the face of grabbed lands.
- Therefore, it would be pertinent for Government to take cognizance of the full implications and costs of the damage occasioned by this crime.
- While considering the cost of grabbed lands to the victims, it is imperative to note the following:
- The duration and time of the invasion and occupation of the properties;
- Opportunity cost incurred in terms of the denial of access to streams, routes to farms and gardens, dams for irrigation and fish ponds as well as economic trees and plantations; and
- Houses, Worship places, Schools and clinics, Markets, shops & kiosks, canteens and restaurants, mills and workshops, transportation inconveniences; Vehicles, Cars, motorcycles, tricycles and bikes amongst others.
- It is also important to note that most of the victims of land grab themselves own Cattle, sheep, Goats, Pigs, Chicken and other animals. Therefore, their losses should include a wide variety of livestock.
- Similarly, in terms of crops, cereals and vegetables, it should be clear that a lot of these form the backbone of subsistence and indeed income of many individuals and households through the production, processing and marketing of cash crops such as Fonio (Accha), Finger-Millet, Peas Sorghum, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Beans, Pepper, Banana, vegetables amongst others.
- In this sense, it is pertinent to note that when an individual or family loses their lands to grabbers for so many years, it is not difficult to establish the direct link between such losses with hunger, unemployment, poverty and apathy.
On the whole, ECCVN alongside the associations passionately praying the Plateau State Government to, as a matter of urgency, pursue both legal and restorative justice by ensuring that:
- The natural and traditional rights of the victims of land grab should be respected, guaranteed and enforced under the extant laws of the land;
- An express order of evacuation be made to all illegal occupiers and users of lands, dams, ponds, streams, homes and other properties;
- A machinery be not only put in place to identify lands and properties grabbed and the trespassers, but a means also be devised to guarantee the protection of victims upon return to their homesteads;
- For the losses and disruption on account of land grab and annexation of other properties, a Technical Committee of Valuers be constituted in order for adequate financial compensation be recommended for payment by culprits, occupiers and government to victims;
- All customary lands should be duly registered and documented, under the law of the land;
- Where necessary, Forest Rangers and Livestock Guards should be constituted, reactivated, strengthened, empowered and integrated with Land Administration Protocols of Government; and
- Any other step/prayer deemed fit in the circumstance(s) of this petition.
- It is the firm belief of the petitioners that Justice remains the bedrock of peace, progress and development in all human societies. Therefore, the Plateau State Government and all its agencies owe all citizens who have suffered the menace of land grab and other crimes the duty of upholding justice in the face of this evil and man’s inhumanity to man.
Dalyop SolomonMwantiri, Esq,
CEO of Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria -ECCVN,
Mr. Benjamin Shaweng Da Gyang Dalyop Dudu
Chairman of frontline Communities President of Berom Educational
Plateau State and Cultural Organization-BECO
Mr. Robert Ashi Dr. Markus Avom
President of Irigwe Development Association-IDA President of Atakar Development Association-ADA
Pharm. Aaron Matawal
Ag National Coordinator Ron Development Association
- The Executive Secretary of National Human Rights Commission, FCT Abuja.
- The State Coordinator of National Human Rights Commission, Plateau State.
- His Majesty, the Gbong Gwom Jos and Chairman of Plateau State Council of Chiefs and Emirs.
- His Royal Highness, the Braa Ngwe of Irigwe, ag Chairman Bassa Traditional Council.
- His Royal Highness, ag Saf Ron, Chairman Bokkos Traditional Council
- The Distinguished Senator representing Plateau North, National Assembly Abuja
- The Distinguished Senator representing Plateau Central, National Assembly Abuja
- Hon. Member representing Riyom/Barkin Ladi at National Assembly, Abuja
- Hon. Member representing Mangu/Bokkos at National Assembly, Abuja.
- Hon. Member representing Barkin Ladi LGA at Plateau State House of Assembly.
- Hon. Member representing Bassa LGA at Plateau State House of Assembly
- Hon. Member representing Bokkos LGA at Plateau State House of Assembly
- Hon. Member representing Riyom LGA at Plateau State House of Assembly.
- The Commissioner of Police, Plateau State Police Command.
- The Commander of Operation Safe Haven-OPSH, Plateau State Headquarters, Jos.
- The President of Nigerian Bar Association-NBA,
National Secretariat, FCT Abuja.
- The President of Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria-CLASFON, FCT Abuja.
- The Director of State Security Services, Plateau State.
- The Plateau State Commandant, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp
- The Permanent Secretary on Security, Plateau State.
- The Coordinator, Operation Rainbow Headquarters, Plateau State
- Conference of Autochthonous Ethnic Communities Development Associations (CONAECDA).
- The Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Plateau State.
- The Chairman, Christian Lawyers Association of Nigeria (CLASFON), Plateau State.
- Plateau Initiative for the Development and Advancement of Natives (PIDAN).
- The Hon. Chairman of Bokkos LGA
- The Hon. Chairman of Bassa LGA
- The Hon. Chairman of Barkin Ladi LGA
- The Hon. Chairman of Riyom LGA
- The Chairman of Plateau Youth Council.