The leadership of Mwaghavul Development Association, M.D.A, the umbrella body of the Plateau State tribe whose natives mostly women and children were attacked and killed within the week has called on the federal and State government to take responsibility and ensure the provision of basic needs for the survivors who are already going through hardship due to their displacements, Vanguard reports.
It would be recalled that over 100 people have been killed, in the attacks which occurred in over 20 villages as houses; food barns have been burnt and the residents displaced.
The body led by its National President, Sir Joseph Gwankat also asked that the government be responsible for school children who have been made to miss the ongoing Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations due to the incident.
Gwankat at a press briefing on Friday in Jos said over 20,000 people have been displaced and “Government must take immediate steps to facilitate the return of all persons that have become refugees in different IDP camps by reconstructing their homes and providing security for them as well. Otherwise, they won’t be able to go back and continue with their farming activities.”
He added, “Government should take over full responsibility of educating children below age 10 who have lost both parents as a result of this conflict, while arrangements are made for those SS3 students whose WAEC Exams were disrupted as a consequence of this conflict.
“NEMA/SEMA must urgently mobilize resources immediately to address the situation of the victims. The Police have demonstrated low capacity and political will to secure minority tribes in Nigeria, hence we strongly recommend state policing in all states and communities in Nigeria.
“Security agencies should build synergy with our community people to secure their families. The integration of the Vigilantes and Hunters Association into the State Operation Rainbow may assist in information and proper protection of our people.”
Gwankat who lamented that over 125 people have so far been buried while some bodies were thrown inside wells, some floating in the ponds and some still missing, stressed, such “genocide” would not intimidate them to hand over their land to strangers.
He stated, “We wish to encourage our people to remain steadfast, firm, and unshakeable in the defence of our land. We have never left our land in the pursuit of any perceived enemies to attack and kill them but enemies of the state mobilize themselves at regional, national, and sub-national levels to attack us. Those who have died have paid the supreme price – May their souls rest in peace.
“The re-admittance and reintegration of the killer herdsmen into our land again if it will be at all should be facilitated by an NGO or any agency of Government and at the cost of Government…”
He further decried the deployment of mercenaries by the herders to attack the people saying, “… We too have observed the participation of foreign mercenaries in a conflict with a people we feel obliged to protect… where their kinsmen at continental, national and sub-national levels are mobilized with lethal weapons to fight an unjust war against us as a result of a conflict we can easily resolve on a table or through normal judicial actions.
“The mobilization and involvement of about 45 million to 50 million Fulanis worldwide against individual ethnic nationalities whose populations are only in thousands are not only unjust but an agenda for ethnic cleansing and land grabbing…
“The only capital we have left is our ancestral land: No group is ready to surrender a capital that is basic to survival to any other interest group; we won’t either. Those being used to orchestrate violence against us have demonstrated that they have alternative homes, but we don’t…”