Herdsmen kill 25 in fresh Plateau attack
• Leader decries alleged plot to exterminate community
• Perpetrators won’t go scot-free, military vows
Twenty-five people have been killed at Zirshe Dundu in the Kwall District of Bassa Local Government Council of Plateau State.The attack by suspected herdsmen came on Monday night as the villagers prepared for the burial of four persons hacked to death on Saturday, allegedly by the same assailants.The funeral had to be put on hold to accommodate the latest victims.The 29 were buried yesterday.
The spokesman of Operation Safe Haven, Major Adam Umar, and Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mathias Terna Tyopev, confirmed the incident.Umar said his men mobilised quickly to the village following the attack but found the perpetrators had fled.“This morning, the locals came round to collect the deceased for burial and we provided them security. We are astounded by this series of attacks because Operation Safe Haven has been holding peace meetings with the critical stakeholders. Despite dialogues and deployment of the military to various communities, the attacks continue unabated. The dramatis personae, in spite of everything, still take the laws into their hands. We will ensure that maximum security is provided and those responsible for the serial killings are brought to justice,” he said.
At the burial, the National President of Irigwe Development Association (IDA), Sunday Abdu, warned the Plateau State government that the insecurity was spiraling out of control.He said: “In continuation of that avowed determination to eliminate the Irigwe race, the Fulani herdsmen have continually unleashed mayhem on our communities, killing, maiming, burning and destroying farmlands.
“Since January this year, we have continually picked the corpses of our loved ones, sometimes burnt beyond recognition from night attacks by Fulani herdsmen militia. Some are killed in their homes, some on their farms, and others on their way home from places of leisure and business.
“We have noted with dismay certain comments on mainstream and social media by the Miyyeti Allah group, and we have had cause to debunk some of them as outright lies designed to justify the orgy of killings by their militia. Perhaps more worrisome is a video in circulation by a certain cleric, Sawtul-Hikmah, which purports that even security personnel of their religious extraction must do the biddings of their religion.
“Comments such as these send a clear message on what to expect from security personnel, and leave one wondering if indeed anyone is safe in our land. With this therefore, any failure on the side of security personnel will be viewed as an orchestration of this mandate. This is bad for our country. Such people ironically, are walking freely.”
He added: “Worst of all was the comment of the Christian Association of Nigeria chairman during the Presidential Town Hall Meeting where instead of telling the president how the church was daily losing its population to senseless attacks by Fulani herdsmen, he chose to eulogise the state government for the payment of salaries which has made the church richer.
“Friends, here is a question that begs for answers. What good is a salary that might only be used to bury one’s family members killed by herdsmen? We therefore advise the Plateau State government to stop the propaganda and take proactive steps at ending the annihilation of Irigwe people, whose significance is only to be considered in the coming elections.”
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