It would be recalled that two young persons of Jol community, Riyom LGA of Plateau State were reportedly ambushed at Nod area along Jol-Hoss road at about 7:43pm, 26th January, 2020. As a result, Amos Elisha aged 20 was harked dead while Daniel Sati sustained grievous injuries.
During an on spot assessment visit to Vom Christian Hospital where the injured person and the corpse of Amos were taken by personnel of Divisional Police Headquarters of Riyom, Mr. Daniel, in deep pains, manageably respond that, ” I am Daniel Sati, 24 years and married with one child, I hailed from Tanjol hamlet of Jol community. I was about 7:43pm of 26th January, 2021 that a group of 6 Fulani armed with machetes, daggers and dazzling swords laid us ambush on out way back from Hoss’ Market to Jol Community.”
The said Fulani pounced on Amos and his friend, Daniel Sati, few miles after a military checkpoint, it was gathered.
On a hospital bed at Vom Christian Hospital, Dizzy Daniel currently nursing deep machete and dagger cuts in his head and hands recalls sighting the killers before approaching the spot, but was persuaded by his friend who was brimming with courage and faith, to keep moving.
In his words, “We were walking from Makera (village) where we went to buy water pump machine parts. I saw signs of human movements in the grasses and suggested that we should turn back but Amos said we should have faith, that even if we would be killed, we should still trust Jesus to provide us a refuge in heaven.
On getting to where they had spotted the ambushers, “three Fulani abruptly emerged from both sides of the roads and started chasing us after a long trek from Makera,” he said.
According to him, another group of 3, making 6 also emerged from the other side of the road and pounced on us with their daggers, cutlasses, knives among others. As we tried to fight back, we were overpowered” as the harking became tensely unbearable with high potency of engulfing life. Daniel added, “we picked stones and anything available to defend ourselves with. Amos was also bleeding but I don’t know which part of his body was he struck,” he said.
Daniel ran, fighting and praying in his heart, with blood dripping from different sides of his head and hands. He fell down at a point, clearly weak as a result of blood lost from the injuries and continued bleeding, and was to be stabbed again on the ground, but swiftly sprang up, hitting the sword off on the attacker’s hand.
His friend had ran into nearby bushes and was chased by five of the attackers. Daniel’s aggressor drew out a smaller knife to inflict more injuries on him, but he never gave up. He struggled until he knocked him down with only a stone in his hand. He was however accosted by the other assailants, before he could rise up and run.
“They hit me several times with their daggers and machetes but with the help of God, I still ran until i escaped to Tashek (nearby village) from where I was taken to Riyom Police Divisional Headquarters, and later on to the hospital for medical attention.”
On getting to Tashek hamlet, Daniel reported his heartbroken encounter to local vigilante called “Neighborhood Watch” who swung into action to rescue Amos, not known by Daniel that his friend has already been harked dead by the said killer Fulani militias.
As to the identity of the attackers, Daniel narrated that, “I facially know one of the attackers who is a Fulani from Dakar (Guava) area close to Rankum (Mahanga) of Jol Community. He is among those that came and pitched their mobile tents around our settlements.”
In the process of search, Amos was found dead in a pool of blood with stained machete and handset at the scene, believed to belong to the killers when vigilante arrived the spot.
Adding voice to the unattended plights of the affected village/hamlet, a Pastor in the area, Yusuf Tanko, said herdsmen in the area have issued several threats openly even during meetings with securities but no arrest is made.
“In our meetings in farmer-herder reconciliation committees, the herders always complain that the natives are always preventing them from herding, freely to wherever they wish,” which points at the helpless state of insecurity rising up in the area, he said.
It’s pertinent to note that Tashek Village in particular, has had its ugly experience from killer Fulani armed attacks in the recent past, and its remains a theatre of violent attacks, unprecedented mischievous grazing and other related heinous activities continuously being perpetrated as gathered. For instance, Mr Zakka Sunday and Mr. Elisha Yakubu, the father to Amos Elisha were killed in the same location ten years ago. Similarly, 2 secondary school teenagers namely, Joshua Yusuf and Jethro Mwadkwon were shot dead in the same Tashek by suspected Fulani in 2018 aside other previous attacks that claimed many lives of little children, women and aged among others. Daniel’s male cousin, Victor Gyang was also ambushed in the same spot sometime in 2020 even though he survived with severe injuries.
There’s heartaching perplexity running through the minds of the unsuspecting native inhabitants of Tashek and other neighbouring villages as to the glaring silence utterly shown by security agents and Government at all levels in spite of the persistent outcries of the natives over the continued insecurity recently experienced and the impending threats. For instance, last week, ECCVN reported the burning of a Grass Reserve Area in the same village by the herders, but no action has been taken.
In view of this, the following are recommendations for possible consideration by appropriate authorities-
- Ban on opened grazing in order to curb down mischievous grazing, late hours or overnight grazing, abuse of free grazing for ambush after herding. Ranching program be made mandatory to whoever has cattle or wants to venture into such aspect of agriculture;
- A motion for a bill on legalization of firearms to be possessed by individual persons for exercise of self-defense in a case of aggression;
- Reversions of all lands forcefully acquired and occupied by way of displacements across federation.
- Stationing of Mobile Police personnel and/or other sister agencies in Tashek and other neighbouring villages that don’t have the presence of Operation Safe Haven;
- Discreet investigation for arrest and prosecution of those involved in the recent terror attack on 26th January, 2021. This would serve as deterrent to other terror elements or anyone with such proclivity;
- Registration of all cows and the rearers be made mandatory. In addition, there should be proper communication as to which direction each herder would go for grazing in order to help tracing who commits what at each point in time; and
- Any other step deemed necessary in curbing down the rising insecurity in affected areas and Nigeria at large.
Dalyop Solomon Mwantiri, Esq.
Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria-ECCVN