- Indigenes of Plateau state are weary of the constant attacks they have been subjected to in recent times
- A socio-cultural organisation for indigenous tribes of the people of Plateau has vowed to retaliate if they are attacked again
- They also blamed the security agencies for their slow response in forestalling the attacks
Following recent attacks in Plateau, a socio-cultural organisation for indigenous tribes of the people of the state, Plateau Initiative for Development and Advancement of the Natives (PIDAN), has vowed to retaliate if they are attacked again.
The group made the threat while addressing journalists in Jos, the state capital, at the weekend over the ugly incident on the Plateau within the first and second quarter of 2018.
National president of the body, Aboi Madaki, disclosed that not less than 219 natives of the state were killed by herders in four local government councils of the state within the past 4 months.
Madaki said the systematic attacks and killings of innocent citizens in the state by herders has been on for a long time and became more intense in the month of May and June. He said that the previous attacks and killings took form of gorilla and ambush in nature with guns and machete.
He said the villages that were always under attack are Barkinladi, Riyom, Bassa and Bokkos local government councils of the state, disclosing that not less than 54 villages have been attacked within the last six months of this year with not less than over 219 natives dead with properties worth billions of naira destroyed by the rampaging marauders .
The PIDAN president warned that his organisation, which is representing all ethnic nationalities on the Plateau, would “no longer tolerate any further attack on Plateau natives by the herders.”
He warned that “further killings may lead to retaliation by residents of the state.”
Madaki added that they have resolved to treat such attacks in the nearest future as an attack on all ethnic groups in Plateau. He wondered why last week's attacks on 11 villagers could last for several hours, while there was no intervention from the security forces in charge of internal security operations on the Plateau.
He called for thorough investigation on the source of sophisticated weapons used by the herders and claimed that the response of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in providing relief materials to victims of attacks in the state is very poor.
Meanwhile, a recent media report claims that over 54 communities in Plateau have been taken over by herdsmen after recent attacks in the state on farming communities.
According to the report, the attacks have seen native communities in Plateau state taken over by invading herders and even renaming them.
The natives, mostly Berom by tribe have reportedly watched helplessly as their homes were occupied, people killed and farmlands taken over and in some cases, the original names of the villages changed.
The report noted that prominent leaders of the Berom tribe and socio-cultural groups before now had consistently appealed to the Federal Government to tackle land occupation by foreign herders but their entreaties were ignored.
Benue Elders Speak on Herdsmen Attacks | NAIJ.com TV