The Commissioner of Police in Plateau, Mr. Edward Egbuka, has said that 17 people were killed and 85 buildings burnt in the recent attacks in Bassa and Riyom Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
But his figures on the number of burnt structures differ considerably from that of the Irigwe Development Association (IDA) which puts the number at 250.
According to Davidson Malison, the National Publicity Secretary of IDA, unceasing tears have continued to flow from the eyes of the Rigwe people
He adds: “The terror being unleashed by Fulani herdsmen on Rigwe people has continued unabated and without any sign of remorse or regret.
“Some villages in Miango District came under intense and severe attack by Fulani militias … , Saturday July 31,2021 .
“The attack which started around 7.00 p.m lasted for over four hours unhindered and undistracted had over 250 houses razed down from villages of Zanwra to near Kpatenvie (Jebbu-Miango).
“The villages set ablaze are Zanwra, Nche-Tahu, Rikwe-Rishe A and B,Ri-Dogo, Nchu-Nzhwa all under Kpatenvie (Jebbu-Miango) of Kpachudu Community.
“About seven people killed (in Saturday’s attack), while several others injured and are receiving treatment at some undisclosed hospitals.
“Over 40 hectares of farmlands with variety of crops completely destroyed beyond resurrection and growth.
“Several household items and domestic animals in an immeasurableform were carted away.
“The Irigwe Development Association (IDA) is really pained, saddened and brokenhearted with this unhealthy, unpalatable and distasteful development that has caused us unquantifiableand immeasurabledamages courtesy plans by the marauders to have our ancestral lands forcefully taken and grabbed.
“To say an attack was carried out for several hours without any form of intervention from men of Operation Safe Haven Jos to curtail it is no doubt an affirmation of the fact that it was done in the form of collusion and connivance.
“As a nation,the continuous preparation of these callous and barbaric acts without any form of attention by those saddled with the responsibility of securing lives and property are uncalled for, unacceptable and worrisome.
“As peace-loving people,we must be given the needed attention as it is our fundamental human rights for our lives to be safeguarded and protected.
“It’s becoming glaring that we have been relegated to second citizens as a people considering the travails befalling us as all our our concerns and grievances have been hitting the deaf ears of the Government.
“While we loudly call on the authorities to stop this act of terrorism being demonstratedon the Rigwe Nation, we want to reiterate that it is nothing less of GENOCIDE on the Rigwe people and this will not be taken as we will all, via legal means, end it.
“Even as we renege our hope and trust in God for existence,we want to condole with the entire nation over the loss of lives, farmlands and property knowing fully that He will surely not allow the enemies to triumph over.
“In God we Trust!”
Recall that after over three hours of deliberations behind closed doors, the Plateau State Security Council rose from its emergency meeting with a directive by Governor Simon Lalong to the security agencies in the State to take full control of all vulnerable in Bassa and Riyom LGAs and clear the attackers that have perpetrated mayhem within the areas.
Police Commissioner, Edward Egbuka said the Governor after receiving full briefs from the various security organs in the State and after exhaustive review of the situation, gave marching orders to the Police, Operation Safe Haven, Nigerian Army, DSS, Civil Defence, NSCDC and other collaborating agencies to reinforce and contain the situation without further delay.
“The meeting basically reviewed the fallout of events within the last 48 hours where there were attacks specifically at Jebbu Miango. From our records as at Saturday night the 31st of July 2021, five people were killed while about 85 buildings were burnt. The next morning, the attacks still persisted. From intelligence, the attackers are militia brought from outside the State. The attacks continued in Tamburam, Riyom LGA where unfortunately twelve people were also killed and some houses destroyed and again at Maiyanga. We lost some security personnel at Maiyanga and Riyom”.
Egbuka said although security agencies have deployed men on the ground coping with the situation, the Governor has directed them to do everything possible to bring the situation under control within the next 48 hours and arrest all the perpetrators.
“This is the sound of warning to the people involved in perpetrating this violent acts. The leaders will be arrested. There are records of leaders that are on bail temporarily, and some of them have been fingered in this present attacks. Nobody will be spared. Human life is sacrosanct and nobody can take it at will. There is a Government in place and it will not accept lawlessness” the CP said.
He assured the citizens that the directives of the Government will be swiftly carried out as the security agencies will further strategise and reinforce to contain the situation, arrest the attackers and bring them to account.
The meeting also resolved to enhance engagement and collaboration with informal security groups such as the vigilante, community watch groups, hunters association and community leaders for enhanced intelligence gathering.
The Governor during the meeting again sympathised with the victims and also reiterated his directive for immediate assessment of the humanitarian needs and assistance to affected people by State Emergency Management Agency once the security agencies contain the situation. Further engagements will then follow by the Peace Building Agency.