Not fewer than 23 people have been so far reportedly shot dead in Plateau villages as frrom January, 1st, 2022 to date as a result of armed invasions carried out by suspected Fulani militias.
During on the spot assessment by Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria-ECCVN, it’s gathered that in Irigwe Chiefdom in Bassa LGA, the militias attacked on the 7th, 10th and 12th January, 2022 killing 20 people whereas in Tyana village of Riyom LGA, 3 out of 5 unsuspecting youths ambushed were shot dead.
According to an eyewitness who pleads anonymity at Ancha village, “this Community is ours… our parents hosted FULANI over time, but today, we have been made prey to the ferocious invasions of Fulani on daily basis,” said the local source. He further buttressed that, “we cannot go to our farms due to continued fear of attacks while farmed crops are always mowed or grazed upon with no attention given to our plight,” lamentably he expresses the community helplessness in distress situations such as this.
Equally, another respondent narrates that, “three days ago, armed Fulani attacked and shot dead one of us in this village…..there is no arrest or effort toward fishing out the perpetrators. After that, we got information in the evening of 11/1/2022 about another planned attack on this village of Ancha, and immediately alerted relevant authorities including the security agents stationed in the village…..” That informed a reinforcement of security agents totalling 30 to safeguard the village against further invasion, but it couldn’t stop the onslaught that claimed 18 lives and injury sustained by 7 natives inhabitants while 107 houses were razed down, “for all the security agents gathered in one place except one of them that was up to his responsibility…” expressed by one of the survivors who call for petition to investigate their role during the attack.
Amongst the thousands mourners that attended the mass burial of those killed are the Council Chairman of Bassa LGA with his entourage, National Youth President and Chairman Development Association of Irigwe Chiefdom who express sadness over the avoidable development since there was an intelligence given to that effect, but no willingness to repel the attackers despite the reinforcement of the security agents to the area before the invasion.
The Council Chairman of Bassa LGA condemned the tragic development, referring it as ” lawless act…” and consoled the people of Ancha not to loss hope, but pleads for calmness as their plight will be given a needed attention as he ordered for assessment on the level of damage occasioned. He also charged security agents to rise up to their responsibility so as to avert the recurrence of similar development.
According to ECCVN’s on the spot assessment, the following were the people killed:-
1.Gideon Goh.. 30 year old
- Danladi James.. 26 year old
- Yohanna Musa . 17yrs old
4 Achi Alhaji.. 16yrs
5 Monday abbah.. 52yrs
6 Musa Tegwe.. 80yrs
7 Christian Sunday. 45yrs
8 laraba Bitrus.. 38yrs
9 Andrew Bitrus. 7yrs
10 wiki Bitrus. 5yrs
11 Monday Bitrus . 3month
12 Danjuma rimbe.10yrs
13 Monday b.bitrus.19yrs
14 Moses Weyi.. 21yrs
15 mbe Zamfara..72yrs
16 Azumi awre.. 75yrs
17 Danladi David..32yrs
18 Gado Sunday..43yrs
Meanwhile in Riyom LGA, there was a similar experience witnessed on Monday, 10th January, 2023 in Tyana village of Tahoss Community, where gunmen suspected to be Fulani militias ambushed and killed three (3) persons, namely; the Joel Yohanna, aged 27; Daniel Bitrus, 25 and Christopher Ezekiel mwantiri, 22 year old while two (2) others, Paul Luka Zam, aged 22 and Philibus Bulus Mwantep, 25 sustained severe injuries and are currently on admission in the hospital.
When visited, Mr. Paul Luka Zam, narrates that “we were returning from Riyom village when the incident occurred at about 9:00pm.” He said they were approaching the community when they sensed strange movement from the bush by the road without suspecting such a plan, but of a sudden, some strangers in long Black Coats opened gunfire and shot at them,
resulting to fracture on his left while Filibus Bulus sustained serious gunshots in his pelvic.
Following the atrocious activities being perpetrated by armed militias in Plateau State and beyond, ECCVN is hereby calling on security agents to be alive to their responsibility, especially in those troubled areas. This, invariably, is a Clarion call for a change in strategy to bring about cordon search for dislodgement and disarmament of the militias in Plateau State. In the same vein, ECCVN is passionately appealing to all levels of Government not only to reach out with humanitarian aid including building materials to the affected persons, but also substantially compensate for each live lost.
Dalyop Solomon Mwantiri, Esq,
Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria-ECCVN