Yakubu Busari, Jos
The untiring efforts of the Nigeria Police Force, particularly its Plateau State Command and the state government to restore and maintain peace and heal wounds inflicted by ethno-religious crises, and their merchants of crises, suffered a setback during the week as two recurring combatants in the violence, the Fulani herders and Irigwe community, took up arms again resulting in the killings, destruction and burning of houses and cattles.
It was gathered that Miyetty Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), reported that two herders were confirmed killed Monday, 29th April, 2019 at Kwal and Kuru, of Bassa and Jos South Local Government Areas, of Plateau State.
According to MACBAN’s Chairman, Mallam Nura Abdullahi, two boys rearing cows were killed and one of the boys has been found , while only his piece of cloth belonging to him was found with blood stain.
He said, “One Shehu Saidu was confirmed dead. The other boy Mubarak Ahmad is still missing.
“A report reached us that on Monday 29/4/2019 some Irigwe holding sophisticated fire arms and shooting sporadically attacked Fulani cattle rearers around the School of Accountancy, Kwal general area.
Herds of dead cattle killed during the conflct
They chased away the rearers and killed over three hundred cows and rustled many others.”
Presenting the photos from the scene of the killed, Abdullahi said his group has reported to the police, saying, “The Police divisional officers of Bassa and Kuru are all aware of the incident.”
The chairman of Irigwe Association, Ayuba David Chinge said he was not aware of the 300 cattle killed.
“I am not aware of the 300 cattle killed. All I know we were called by the commander sector 6, Col. Hassan, who told us that 11 cattle were killed on Monday.
“Apart from that one, I am not aware of the 300 cows killed. We as a people condemned the act and called on both Fulani and Irigwe to live in peace.
“I am also calling on the Fulani to keep off from the restricted areas where grazing is banned,” Chinge added.
The Nigerian Police Force, Plateau State Command, Jos, confirmed the killing of five Irigwe people by gunmen following the invasion of their during the week.
The Police Public Relations Officer Plateau State Command, Jos, DSP Tyopev Matthias Terna disclosed that the command received an information on 29/04 /2019 at about 0800hrs to the effect that unknown gunmen attacked Maiyanga area of Miango District as a result, one Jummai Jah ‘f’ 25yrs and Emmanuel Ishaya ‘m’ 37yrs were killed. A 7- months old girl Tabitha survived with a neck injury and is receiving treatment at Enos Hospital at Miango.
The information also emphasised that on that Monday, one Audu of Rotsu village also in Miango District was shot and matched to death.
The Dead and the stretchered
He said: “While the investigation into these crimes were going on, the Command on 30/04 /2019 at about 0730hrs received information that about 319 cattle were attacked and killed, 12 cattle were maimed while 11 cattle were rustled.
“Two cattle rearers; one Mubarak Yakubu and one Shehu Saidu, both male of different addresses, were missing. All these allegedly took place in Billi and Ariri in Miango District.
He said the Command, has mobilised a search and rescue team to rescue the missing cattle rearers while efforts are on the way to track and arrest the perpetrators of these dastardly acts.
The Command has also mobilised a combined team of Police Mobile Force (PMF) and Detective personnel to the affected areas to maintain law and order.
Operation Safe Haven (OPHS) the Military outfit charged with the maintenance of peace in the state has also confirmed the incident though could not give figures of herders killed, cows killed and rustled.
Confirming the incident, the Commandant of Operation Safe Haven (OPHS) in Plateau State, Major General Augustine Agundu said; “It was true that cows were killed and rustled along Jos South and Bassa LGA’s.”
“It is painful that with all the efforts that we are doing such things are happening. It is barbarism and animosity.
“If community leaders are doing good work, why should cows that are just grazing be attacked, killed and rustled on the field?” he said.