It’s apparently bleak that, after sinking resources and human capital in farming, there will be harvest at the end of the season in view as suspected Fulani herdsmen continue beating drums of economic war on Internally Displaced Persons of Plateau State.
True to this fact, IDPs of Bell hamlet in Sho community of Barkin Ladi LGA have, like other recently affected villages, been visited with similar tragedy of farmed crops mowed down on 3rd day of August, 2020 by suspected Fulani herdsmen who went overnight and willfully cut down 4 farms grown with Maize, Guinea Corn, Soya Beans and Beneseed after earthen was performed last week. This has gravely affected the optimism of bumper harvest which has now become a mirage.
On visit to the scene of the incident, the victims were dumbfounded in delirium as 4 farms of Maize, Guinea Corn, Sweet potatoes were mowed down by suspected Fulani herdsmen who went over night and perpetrated the dastardly act that invariably plunged economic hardship on the affected native victims namely,Elisha Boyi Gwong, 53, has wife 4 children and aged mother.
Pam Dachung, 48, wife and 5 children.
Dachollom Dung,46, wife and 4 children
Thomas Maful Gyang, 56 years, 5 children.
The crops mowed down include, Maize, Guinea Corn, Soya Beans, Beneseed, and watermelon.
It’s further gathered that the following day marked another mischief on hot Pepper farm at nursery bed belonging to Mr. Ayuba Alamba Pam, 47, 4 children that was also destroyed by cows that grazed thereon.
In an interview, Mr. Dachollom Dung said, “farming and mining are the only two means of livelihood we engage in to fend for our families, …but suspected Fulani came and mowed down the crops for no reason known to us….. this is how they usually do before attacking and killing us… they are likely starting it again” he cried out for intervention from Government and spirited individuals to come to their aid otherwise their children wouldn’t be able to go back to school, Medicare can not be accessed due to lack of resources as “we mine Tin to raise money for farming activities so that the yields would be for feeding our families, and part sold out to pay children’s school fee as well as footing medical costs and other exigencies; We are helpless unless an intervention is staged up for us in Sho..”
The victims and other community people are in panic as “other farms are not safe by this sad incident, for no one knows who would be next” said by one farmer who pleaded anonymity. Thus, security agencies especially the Police is hereby urged to speedily commence investigation into the crime so as to unravel the immediate and remote cause of the mischief, and the culprits arrested for appropriate sanctions.
The natives however, applauded the role of Operation Safe Haven for the steps taken towards fishing out the actors of the senseless act.
While at the scene, a group of Fulani herdsmen also went to ascertain the level of damage, condemned the act as “hand work of merchants of crisis who want to ignite another uprising after relative peace being enjoyed currently” that’s why they are making effort to help in trailing the perpetrators for onward action.
By and large, Sho community and its environs had previous been a centre of attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen where many lives were killed, properties worth millions of naira destroyed and some villages/hamlets taken over after displacement of the Berom natives who can’t have access to the homelands due to threats and fear of being attacked again.
It’s on that premise that ECCVN calls on all relevant authorities including international bodies to come to the aid of these victims who are in dire need of assistance both in cash and kind to be able to start up live, and survive the ongoing hostilities being meted out on them. In the same vein, security agents are also urged to step up modalities towards arresting any form of aggression the merchants of war might have planned to unleashed on communities and/villages. This will strengthen peaceful coexistence, and douse down suspensions nursed by parties.
Dalyop Solomon Mwantiri, Esq.
Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria-ECCVN