20171017

Touching Story: "Uniformed Men Led Us to Be Killed by Fulani Herdsmen"

No fewer than 29 persons, mainly women and children were killed in an attack by suspected herdsmen in Nkiedonwhro village of Irigwe chiefdom in Bassa Local Government of Plateau State.

It will be recalled that several attacks had been carried out by herdsmen in villages, forcing Governor Simon Lalong to declare a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the local government area.

Sadly, despite the curfew declared last Friday, night attacks have persisted in the villages with many residents already fleeing their homes.

The President’s position 
President Buhari has directed the military and the Police to put mechanism in place to ensure that there is no reprisal attacks in Plateau State.

President Buhari, who was reacting to the killing of about 29 persons by herdsmen, said the madness should not be allowed to continue.
Army, Police keep mum 
Spokesman of Operation Safe Haven, Captain Adam Umar, did not answer calls to his mobile phones, while his Police Command counterpart, Matthias Tyopev, said he was awaiting the report from the DPO of Bassa Local Government Area before talking on the issue.

However, President of Irigwe Development Association, Sunday Abdu, who confirmed the incident, claimed that the victims were taken to a classroom in a public primary school in the village by members of Operation Safe Haven, saddled with the responsibility of keeping peace, only to be abandoned.

According to him, “what happened was annihilation; innocent people killed that way in cold-blood; they just wiped them out.

The security men ushered the people into a classroom before the attack in the village. They later ran away and left the victims to be massacred by the assailants. The mass burial is about taking place.

“How can you have personnel of the Federal Republic of Nigeria run away and leave the citizens? How and why? That is to tell you that we don’t have security, it is a simple as that.

“Twenty-seven people have been confirmed killed, but someone told us that two more bodies have been discovered. I have not confirmed that yet."

Rep begs FG to intervene 
The member representing Jos North/Bassa Federal constituency, Suleiman Kwande, has called on  FG to investigate the violence in state, especially in the Irigwe Chiefdom.

Survivor speaks 
According to Vanguard, a survivor, Samson Amos, who narrowly escaped death during the attack, said: “It happened at about 8p.m. This attack is the second in the village. When they attacked us the first time, the military was stationed here to avoid a repeat.

“When we got wind of a likely attack yesterday evening (Sunday), we reported to the military and they told us to come and stay in a classroom that has been provided for them as operational base.

“We obediently went into the classroom to sleep. But some people were skeptical about this, so they left. Not long after we entered the classroom, the military left and not long after, the attackers came and we were trapped. They unleashed mayhem.

“I counted 27 corpses, two more who were in the hospital died and three others are still in the hospital being treated for various degrees of injuries. A mass grave has been dug to bury the people.”

Asked about the identity of the attackers, he said: “You know we have co-habited with the herdsmen for a long time. It is easy to recognise them. We saw them and we know they are the ones killing our people. This is an incident which keeps recurring and there is room for a repeat.

“The protest that was held at Jebbu Miango last week was against the seeming lacklustre attitude of the military. The people don’t have faith in the military anymore.”

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