Hoodlums kills 11, burn houses over clash between plateau locals and Miyetti Allah

Obinwannem News Hoodlums kills 11, burn houses over clash between plateau locals and Miyetti Allah

INDIGENES of Plateau State and the Miyyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) have engaged in a war of words over Friday’s midnight raid by gunmen on Te’egbe community in Bassa Local Government Area of the state in which no fewer than 11 persons were murdered. 

It was gathered that during the incident, which reportedly happened at about 1.00 a.m., the invaders unleashed terror on the inhabitants, killing and burning houses at random. 

The police confirmed that 10 persons were killed and 30 houses burnt in the attack. 

Reacting to the incident, the Irigwe Development Association described the latest attack as part of a grand plot by herdsmen to push the Irigwe people out of their ancestral land. 

He lamented that attacks on the Irigwe people had continued unabated. 

But the state chapter of MACBAN said the allegation against its members concerning the latest killings at Te’egbe was a mere expression of hatred towards the herders. 

The National President of the Irigwe Development Association, Prince Robert Arshi, said the latest attack on the Irigwe was a surprise, given recent peace and reconciliation meetings between the locals and the Fulani community. 

“The motive of these attackers is not far from the fact that they want to push us out and claim our lands for grazing. Our neighbouring villages to Kaduna have been displaced and our people have since relocated. 

“Just two weeks ago, they killed two people in Anchan village. While still mourning these people, they invaded Te’egbe community on Friday and killed another eleven, injured four others injured and burned many houses despite the series of reconciliation meeting to make us live in peace.” 

He called on security agencies to arrest the perpetrators of the dastardly act. However, the state chapter of MACBAN condemned the allegation that herdsmen were behind the Friday attack on Te’egbe. 

The association, in a statement by its state chairman, Malam Muhammad Nuru Abdullahi, said the allegation was nothing but mere indication of hatred for herders. 

“We are saying that the allegation is false. The Irigwe people should have allowed the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the attack before jumping to conclusions based on perceptions,” it said. 

Bassa Local Government Area, especially the Irigwe axis, for some time now, has been experiencing loss of lives and destruction of houses and farmlands as a result due to constant attacks by gunmen. 

To arrest the situation, a parley was organised in October by Dialogue, Reconciliation and Peace (DREP) Centre, Jos, where both locals and representatives of the Fulani settlers embraced one another and expressed their willingness to work together. 

The Secretary General of the Irigwe Development Association, Mr Danjuma Auta, confirmed the attack, saying that a week ago, it was on social media that a group of herdsmen sent a threat message to the military, asking for free grazing in all communities in Irigwe land or the people should be ready for war. 

Auta said: “Although the military dismissed the threat, the marauders made good their threat as they attacked Ancha village on Tuesday, 23 November, 2021, and killed two people. 

“Again, these same Fulani herders attacked Te’egbe village in the early hours of Friday. Already, we have established the death of 11 people while a search for other victims is ongoing. 

“We have met at different forums with the Fulani community and promised to embrace peace but with the renewed attacks on innocent citizens, we wonder if the peace accord is anything to hold on to. 

“The Irigwe nation has embraced peace and is ready to continue to pursue the path of peace with everyone but we will not close our eyes to the deceit that we are witnessing today. 

“If those who are saddled with the constitutional responsibility of protecting us feel overwhelmed and can no longer guarantee our safety, they should come out publicly and tell Nigerians. 

“Our people are beginning to lose confidence in security outfits since even their presence could not stop the attackers. This speaks volumes as to how endangered we have become as a people.” He noted that since attacks have been taking place, no single Fulani hamlet had been attacked by any Irigwe man. 

“They burned several of our communities and killed our people. We are pleading with the president of our dear nation to come to our rescue before it is too late,” Auta added Gov Lalong condemn attack, orders arrest of perpetrators Meanwhile, the state governor, Simon Bako Lalong, has condemned the latest attack on Te’egbe village. 

The governor, in a statement signed by his Director of Press Affairs, Dr Makut Simon Macham, said the attack was another sad incident which was “clearly the handiwork of criminals” that were bent on instilling fear in the people with a view to destabilising the state. 

Governor Lalong said there was no explanation that could justify the attack and therefore directed security agencies to take immediate and drastic steps to arrest the perpetrators. 

He said: “The persistent attacks in this general area remain condemnable and unacceptable to government. As such, no resources and efforts will be spared in painstakingly following up on the trail of those who derive joy in attacking and killing innocent citizens and destroying their homes and livelihoods. 

“I expect the security agencies to deploy everything at their disposal to arrest those who carried out the crime, no matter how long it takes. The government will not take any excuse for failure to achieve this directive.” 

Lalong, while commiserating with the victims and families of those killed, gave the assurance that they would get justice as the government would stop at nothing to unravel those behind this ugly incidents that continue to disrupt the livelihoods of the people of the local government area. 

He called on the people to assist the security agencies with relevant information that would enable them to crack the identities of the perpetrators and motives of the attacks. 

The police confirmed that 10 persons were killed and 30 houses burnt in the attack. 

The state police command, in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Ubah Gabriel Ogaba, said upon receipt of the report of the attack, the Commissioner of Police, Bartholomew Onyeka, drafted tactical team to the scene. It pointed out that 10 persons were killed and about 30 houses set ablaze by the attackers. 

The command disclosed that the commissioner led other senior officers to the scene for an on-the-spot assessment and to condole with the victims of the attack.

According to the statement, the CP has directed that discreet investigation be carried out and assured the community of his readiness to fish out the perpetrators of “this barbaric act”.

Lolo Ijeoma Njoku Obinwannem News Writer / Nov 27, 2021

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