Three persons were reportedly killed and several others injured on Friday night by suspected Fulani herdsmen who attacked Hukke village, in Maingo District of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.
No fewer than 10 houses were also said to have been burnt down with foodstuffs and valuable items worth millions of naira. According to an eyewitness, the attackers invaded the village in the night when the villagers were asleep and killed a 70-year-old village head, Gado Kondo, Daniel Even, 50, and 100-year-old Amadu Hwwie who was axed to death.
In her own account, Esther Even, whose husband was killed together with her father-in-law, said the village was attacked on Thursday night, leaving eight persons dead. She lamented: “We are tired of what is happening in our communities. People are being killed on daily bases, while we live in fear. Seven people were killed on Thursday, eight on Wednesday and today, my husband, and father-in-law are all gone.” “Our houses are burnt with foodstuff. we don’t know what to do now. I don’t know whether we still have a government in this country, as people are being killed with no action on the part of government.”
Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Tyopev Matthias Terna, who confirmed the incident, said three aged persons were gunned down and axed to death.
His words: “On January 26, 2018 about 1830hr while our men were on patrol around Rafi-Bauna, Jebu-Miango areas, they received information that a gang of armed men suspected to be Fulani herdsmen were seen killing people and burning houses at Huke Village in Miango Chiefdom, Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.”
“On receipt of this information, they immediately mobilised to the area. While getting close to the village, the suspected herdsmen on sighting our patrol vehicles took to their heels. As a result of the attack, some people were shot and killed.”
“Ten (10) houses were also set ablaze by the same attackers. The suspected herdsmen have adopted Guerrilla tactics of hit and run and as such, the Commissioner of Police, Plateau State Command, Jos Undie Adie, has deployed more police personnel to the area for effective coverage and robust patrol to curtail the incidents of these attacks.”
“He has also deployed the State investigation Bureau (SIB) Operatives to intelligently sniff for information to end the attacks and bring perpetrators to book. Investigation is in progress and members of the public are enjoined to avail the Police with useful information to unravel the remote and immediate causes of these attacks for a permanent solution.”
Governor Simon Lalong expressed grief over the fresh skirmishes that have claimed lives of innocent citizens. In a statement signed by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Hon. Dan Manjang, Lalong urged the security to urgently arrest the spate of insecurity in Bokkos and Bassa Local Government Areas of the state.
“The Executive Governor of Plateau State, Hon. Simon Lalong is saddened with the spate of insecurity in Bokkos and Bassa Local Government Areas that has culminated in the loss of lives and properties recently. This to say the least is unfortunate and highly condemnable,” the statement read.
Falae’s farm: Akure indigenes threaten reprisal
Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Indigenes of Akure, the Ondo State capital, have resolved to engage in reprisal attack against herdsmen in the state should the farm of former secretary to the government of the federation, Chief Olu Falae, be attacked again.
They, therefore, warned the herdsmen to desist from attacking Falae’s farm and other farms in the town in order not to cause inter-tribal crisis.
Falae, a traditional chief in Akure, had on five occasions suffered attacks in the hands of suspected herdsmen.
The Akure indigenes further called on the security agencies in the state to protect the residents of the town from attack of the cattle herders for the people not to be forced to resort to self-help.
The Asiwaju of Akure and former Ambassador to Australia, Prof. Olu Agbi, who spoke with reporters after a meeting of Akure indigenes held at the palace of the Deji of Akure, lamented the rate of attack on farms in the state, stressing the need for the Federal Government to be more proactive in the activities of the cattle herdsmen before it degenerates to a full-blown ethnic crisis.
His words: “Since his (Falae) release and the conviction of the suspects, the farm of the senior citizen has been a subject of attack by herdsmen. Apart from killing people in his farm, neighbouring farms have been subjects of attack by these gun wielding herdsmen.”
“The recent burning of Chief Olu Falae’s plantation by these same elements call for worry. We call on the security agencies to protect the life and property of Chief Falae.”
“We are making this appeal not only because he is an Akure chief but to prevent tribal war as the Olu of Ilu Abo’s stature transcends Akure and Yorubaland.”
“We warn the herdsmen not to create an opportunity for a civil war because any further attack on Chief Olu Falae or his farm would be deemed as casus-belly,” he added.
He also kicked against the cattle colony proposed by the Federal Government, declaring that there is no land in Akure for such colony.
“The word, colony has political connotation not economic. A colony is a political entity which someone said he wants to create in the territory of another. That is a provocation; that is a terrible thing for anybody to contemplate. I can tell you that Akure does not have land to be colonized,” Agbi declared.
“Akure kingdom welcomes genuine farmers and agriculture entrepreneur who want to invest in any form of farming including animal husbandry. But we do not have land for colony. We did not find our father as slaves. And we have the capacity to defend our land against Fulani herdsmen invasion,” he added.