TEXT OF THE PRESS STATEMENT BY PLATEAU YOUTH UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF THE PLATEAU STATE YOUTH COUNCIL ON FULANI MILITIAS: STOP THE BLOODSHED AND KILLINGS IN MANGU, BOKKOS, BARKIN LADI AND RIYOM LGAs OF PLATEAU STATE ON MONDAY, MAY 22, 2023.
Good morning gentlemen of the Press and welcome to this all important Press Conference.
The leadership of the Plateau State Youth Council, on behalf of all Plateau Youth, wishes to, again, register its utter displeasure and rejections on the continued loss of lives, particularly of women and children as well as property worth millions of Naira that is continuing alarmingly in Mangu, and some isolated incidences in Bokkos, Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas.
We wish to state unequivocally that these killings and acts of terrorism are not coincidental nor random happenings, rather, these are premeditated and calculated attacks that aim at uprooting native villages and communities to satisfy the inordinate territorial ambition and supremacy of the Fulani and their cohorts.
The scale and skills of the attackers speak volumes to the scope, sophististry and quantum of the ammunitions and weaponry at the disposal of the said fulani militias.
To our greatest surprise, the Operation Safe Haven-OPSH under the command of Maj. Gen. Abdulsallam Ibrahim appeared to be totally overwhelmed and uncoordinated in its response to the merciless massacre of citizens. Indeed, there was no aireal deployments and support for troops to pursue and track down the so-call Fulani militias who were in their hundreds and had a field day as well as luxury of killing whoever they wanted.
Furthermore, the operation, to the best of our knowledge, has legally and morally failed to release Mr Jatau Yakubu Kachai who is a victim of Fulani’s willful destruction of crops on his farmland at Kuru Station of Wereng Community, Riyom LGA, A case of punishing the victim rather than the culprit. This is why the Coalition is inclined to conclude that the Commander is compromised, and therefore servicing a particular interest in the ongoing killings of the natives in Plateau State. Otherwise, how can one explains the belated, feeble and ineffective responses of the OPSH in the face of credible and abundant early warning signals and distress calls placed on the operation?
The deliberate killings of citizens, particularly women and children and the wanton destruction of property that is continuing in Plateau State is to say the least, condemnable and totally unacceptable to this coalition, and therefore,we want the whole world to know that these attacks are a function of conspiracy and collaboration by the detractors of the State
In order to regain the trust and confidence of our people, we demand that the Police Mobile Squadrons should be deployed without delay to the general area to rescue the situation.
In addition, the petition of the Fulani to the Commander of Operation Safe Haven to the effect that they are being profiled for possible annihilation should be held suspect, because ironically, it is the Fulani that have all along been perpetrating genocide against the natives. The true interpretation of that petition, therefore, is their spurious justification for the ongoing massacres.
We therefore, call on, and advise the author and signatory of the petition to, in their best interest, call his people to order to stop the killings of innocent Plateau people forthwith
Unless and until the prevailing security environment is radically changed, it remains conducive for Fulani militias to continue raining havock on defenceless hamlets, villages and communities with impunity. This is why we are calling on the international Community to use its good offices to prevail on the Nigeria’s Government to live up to its constitutional responsibility of protecting lives and property as well as providing succor to the survivors of these attacks and the displaced.
Finally, we believe that our people and Communities now know better that we are second class citizens in our own country, and that our lives and property do not matter as much. Therefore, the clarion call is, make every effort to help yourself before anyone else does. However, the Nigeria’s Government owes all citizens the Constitutional duties of protecting lives and property, and this is what we demand from our rulers.
Long Live Plateau State
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria
~Lot Sunday Adas
~Chairman, Plateau State Youth Council