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26 killed, 80 houses razed in Plateau fresh attacks



The National Caretaker Chairman of the Berom Youth Movement (BYM) Rwas Rwang Dalyop Dantong has cried on to the federal government to come and rescue Berom people from the hand of insurgents who have been terrorizing Plateau North senatorial zone of Plateau state.
According to Dantong, “The series of attacks commenced on the 2nd of October and has continued on daily basis.
He said, “The major attacks were preceded with silent killings of innocent farmers on their farms. We cried to the security agencies but nothing was done. Now the attackers have made it a daily attack. Since the last ten days, we have recovered at least 26 bodies from the various communities attacked by the insurgents.”
The insurgents numbering about 400, allegedly divided themselves into 3 groups and are attacking the villages from all directions.
In a statement released by the BYM yesterday in Jos and signed by the acting national chairman of the BYM, Mr Rwang Dantong reads, “We wish to, on behalf of the entire Berom Youths, condemn in strong term the persistent and systematic attacks on Bachi district of Riyom local government council by Fulani herdsmen.
“This is an open declaration of war on Berom people for no justifiable reason.
“These consistent attacks have been going on daily, since the 2nd of October. Within the period, the gunmen have attacked at least ten villages killing 26 people. The villages are Lwa, Shonong, Fang, Dum, Chengye, Rakweng, Diyan, Rachi and Sharbutu.
“The casualties so far are; 7 killed in Lwa, 3 killed in Fang, 2 killed in Dum, 3 killed in Sharbutu, 2 STF staff killed, 1 killed in Chengye, 6 killed in Shonong, 1 killed in Rachi.
“Among those killed was a pregnant woman in Lwa village who was expected to be wedded in a week time. Over 60 houses were burnt in the attack including that of late Senator Gyang Dantong. 20 houses were burnt down in Lwa village including a Church Pastorium.
“It is quite worrisome that the insurgents have been identified as the Fulani herdsmen that are living within our communities. They launched the attacks and get back to their homes unharmed. The next day they would go to attack yet another village. It is an organized ethnic cleansing of the Berom tribe.
“We can only cry out to the federal government to come to the rescue of our people and stop these attacks on innocent citizens. We are also calling on the special task force to rise up to the occasion and restore peace immediately.
“There is the need to chase out these terrorists from our communities if peace must return to the areas, the gunmen have killed 26 people in 10 days of consistent attack.
“We commend the executive chairman of Riyom local government, Hon. Mrs. Josephine Piyo for constantly mobilizing security agencies to the scene of attacks. We therefore called on all stakeholders to join hands with the council boss to chase these terrorists out of our communities.
Few months ago, the Berom youths raised alarm that they had discovered training camps of some insurgents in Riyom Local governments. The youths called on security agencies for help over alleged plans by armed Fulani militants to launch fresh attacks on some lists of villages.
The concerned villagers said they have discovered a training camp of unknown gunmen behind a rocky hill in Rim near Riyom.
According to the villagers, “The alarm became necessary so as to attract security agencies to come to our aid in protection, the whole of Bachit district is under serious risk of gunmen attack if nothing is done to improve security surveillance in the areas”
A member of a vigilante group in Riyom Dangyang Bulus said, “We discovered their plans because one of the Fulani living with us was invited to join them in their training camp, that one deceived them by telling them he would go home and prepare to join them later but refused to go back to the camp.
“So it is our Fulani neighbour that revealed the secret to us, we have communicated to the police and security agencies in charge of these areas, but from all indication, they are afraid of going there, some of them even said we are raising false alarm.
“These gunmen can strike anytime and we don’t know where and when they will strike. That is why we are raising this alarm. If this planned attack is not prevented, we will hold the security agencies responsible for any loss of lives and properties because, past attacks by these gunmen, recorded as much as hundred casualties,” said Bulus.
A copy of a petition sent to Plateau state police commissioner by members of Shonong community, indicated that several of their men have been killed while working on their farms last month. The petitioned signed by Shonong Youth leader, Yohanna Ciroma described the situation in the area as silent terrorism, saying our communities has been under siege by armed Fulani men.”
A member representing Riyom constituency at the Plateau state house of assembly, Hon Daniel Dem also confirmed the danger his people are facing.
“However, the security agencies failed to rise up to the danger. The gunmen are now all over the villagers, attacking and killing them both day and night unhindered. Two soldiers serving with the special task force has been killed so far in the renewed attacks by the insurgents.”
Hon Dem while commenting on the insecurity in his constituency said, “This is an act of terrorism against my people, they can no longer go to farms because they are consistently been attacked by suspected Fulani herds men”
Hon Dem said, “The fulanis come into our farmland and will deliberately lead their cattle to graze on crops, if you complain you are killed instantly.
“Close to seven of my constituency have been killed in Rim village of Riyom in the past two weeks by our attackers on their farms. This has forced them to abandon their farm lands.”
Dem who is also the Majority leader of the state house of assembly further alleged that some security operatives must be aiding some of their attackers. He wondered why men of the Special Task Force deployed in the area could not stop the attackers.
“In most of the villages attacked, there was presence of men of the STF. Why are they not going after the attackers? Hon Dem asked.
The lawmaker called on security operatives to wake up to their responsibilities of protecting citizens of the locality. In Lwa village, an expectant mother was killed along with her four children. Names of the children are; Meriamu Jonathan age 25, Sandra Jonathan, 13, Agnes Jonathan, 10 and Goodluck Jonathan, aged 6.
Other known victims killed in Fang village are Pam Kube, 23, Sgt. Musa Sanda (STF soldier), Dalyop Joro, 41, Emmanuel Danyam, 14, Stepehen Danjuma, 11.
Those killed in Bachi are; Laraba Sunday Bwede, 60, Geoffrey Solomon Choji, 13, Mrs Jummai Daida Long, 66, Rhoda Luka Bwede, 17, Danjuma Bitrus, 39, Mathew Tiga, 34 and Mary Dauda, 56.In Bangai village, Emmanuel Dachung, 34.
As at the time of sending this report, other affected villages are busy compiling names of their people killed in all the attacks.
Spokesman of the special task force, Captain Ikedichi Iweka however could not confirm casualty figures but said, “a member of the troop was killed by the insurgents. He also said men of the STF have already taken control of the battle ground and peace has been restored in the villages”.
According to Capt Iweha, “The attack is a reprisal kind of attack, it followed cow rustling, when people kill cows: the cow owners will stage revenge. But we have taken control, and we have restored normalcy. But stakeholders should be advised against giving exaggerated casualty figures, as doing so, will amount to sabotaging our peace efforts.”
“The casualty figures given in that statement of Berom is exergerated, there are 13 deaths and we have stopped further attacks and killings. If not for our intervention,t the situation should have been worse.
26 killed, 80 houses razed in Plateau fresh attacks Reviewed by jisieike samuel on October 11, 2014 Rating: 5

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