From Ron-well Jacob, Jos
A traditional ruler in Plateau State has, again, been felled by the assassin’s bullet. Five others were reportedly killed by persons believed to be alleged Fulani militia on Monday, barely a week after the Senate heard about the systematic killing of 10 traditional rulers in the State.
The Senator representing the district, Istifanus Gyang, laments his people “are being hunted and butchered with daggers and bullets” adding “God is watching and God is still God”.
He adds in a statement, “Sustained attacks and killing of thousands of lives is what communities in Plateau North have been subjected to for over two decades particularly in Riyom and Barkin Ladi LGAs and later, Miango axis of Bassa LGA.
“For how long will the Nigerian state and government turn the blind eye in the face of these killings?
“Which alarm have we not raised calling attention to the need to stop the killings and displacement of communities from their ancestral homes?”
Like he did last week when another traditional ruler was mauled down as he stepped outside out of his home to answer a call, Governor Simon Lalong has directed security agencies to do all that is necessary to apprehend the killers and also halt pockets of isolated attacks on innocent people.
In a statement by his spokesman, Dr. Makut Simon Macham, Lalong expressed fury over the killings, describing such recent attacks as worrisome and unacceptable which must be stoped immediately.
While sympathizing with families of the victims and survivors, Lalong asked security agencies to redouble their efforts in apprehending the attackers, having achieved some successes in other recent cases.
Mr. Chungyang Mwadkon, an acting Village Head of Wereng village in Riyom Local Government Area was reportedly due for coronation before his fatal shooting while fleeing from his attackers.
The gun-toting assailants invaded Wereng community at night shooting sporadically.
Media reports quoted one 32 years Kim Francis as saying, “We first thought they were vigilante because they were wearing boots and security kits like community Police, until they started shooting at us.
“They kept shooting and picking their expended bullet shells as they moved,” said Francis who was shot in the leg.
Lyop David, 35 and Mary Francis, 65, shot in the thigh and leg respectively said they were chased with steady gunfire into their rooms.
But Governor Lalong said “We will not allow these ugly incidences to return where helpless and innocent people are murdered in cold blood for no reason. These killers must be fished out at whatever cost and brought to justice. I urge the people to cooperate with the security agencies by providing useful information that will facilitate the arrest of the attackers”.
He called on citizens of the State to increase vigilance particularly in intelligence gathering and information sharing through the traditional rulers and other early warning systems of Operation Rainbow.
The Member representing Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency, Dr. Simon Mwadkwon described the unprovoked attack and killings “as barbaric, inhuman, wicked and callous as well as a great setback to peaceful coexistence in the area”.
The Federal Lawmaker decried renewed hostilities and killings in the Federal Constituency calling on government at all levels and security agencies to rise up to their constitutional mandate of protecting lives and property of the citizenry.
Dr. Mwadkwon said the insecurity there is worrisome and needs urgent intervention to be nip in the bud.
“My people are not secured, they are vulnerable and not safe” he said.
Dr. Mwadkwon called for the immediate draft of security personnel to the area to swing into action and ensure that the killers are apprehended and made to face the full wrath of the Law.
While praying for the repose of the innocent souls killed, the lawmaker urged the people to be security conscious and report all suspicious persons in their areas.
Senator Istifanus Gyang said in his own statement: “While we were yet mourning the assassinated royal father, the acting Gwom Rwey (District Head) of Foron, where Senator Gyang raised alarm on the serial targeted elimination of traditional rulers and unwarranted attacks on communities in Plateau North, Wereng community in Riyom LGA was again visited with another terror attack the night of Monday 5/10/2020 in which six men were killed and wasted including the crowned Prince.
Senator Gyang says although forgiveness is possible and even advocated and recovery hoped for, history has a way of archiving ugly developments of this nature as in the case of the memorial Galleria for victims of the holocaust in Israel and the preserved skulls of genocide in Rwanda.
“This is done to remind succeeding generations of what forebears endured and survived and equally serves as a caution for nations never to allow repeat of such acts of wickedness and genocide.
“The Senator is making bold to affirm that the land of Plateau North and indeed Plateau State shall survice and overcome this phase of recurring mourning, wailing and shedding of blood from the brutality and cruelty of man’s inhumanity to man”, his statement said.
Senator Gyang says further that although the land of peace and a people of peace are being hunted and butchered with daggers and bullets. God is watching and God is still God.
The Senator says history has shown that “no tyranny of circumstance can permanently subdue, suppress and oppress a people or nation”.
Senator Gyang urged “all men of goodwill and lovers of peace to join in praying that by the mercies of God, it shall not be long that “this too shall come to pass” and lasting peace restored to Plateau North.”
Recall that last week Tuesday, Gyang caused the Senate to urge the Inspector General of Police, Mohammad Adamu, to as a matter of urgency, deploy security for the protection of traditional rulers in Plateau State.
Coming under order 43, the lawmaker lamented the killing of over ten traditional rulers across the state by suspected killer herdsmen.
He said, “the latest is the killing of Gwom Rwei of Foron, His Royal Highness, Da Bulus Chuwang Jang, who was assasinated at his palace last week, and the burial is due for this Friday.
“Mr. President, this trend is quite disturbing, because not less than ten other traditional rulers have unfortunately suffered death through the same circumstances.
“This development calls for the need for security to be tightened around our traditional rulers, to ensure that the increasing threat to their safety is averted.
“It is also unfortunate that just last week, five of our youths who were resting and having an evening out were brutally assassinated in Vom district, Jos South Local Government Area. All of these developments are providing increasing insecurity in my constituency.
“Plateau State and my constituency which had experienced the return of peace is suddenly again being visited with these very ugly attacks. And of course, it is common knowledge that the attackers are suspected to be killer herdsmen.
“This is very disturbing in a nation where we need to be our brother’s keeper,” Gyang said.
In his remark, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who condoled with the Government and people of Plateau State, called on security agencies in the country to provide security for traditional rulers as well as the people of Plateau State.
“Let me on behalf of the Senate send our condolences to the Government and people of Plateau State, particularly Plateau North Senatorial district, where all of these incidents took place.
“We pray that the security agencies should provide sufficient security around traditional rulers, as well as for everybody.
“The situation requires that we continue to work together with the Executive arm of Government until we find enduring solutions to the security challenges which the country faces,” Lawan said.