*calls for the return of security operatives
By Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
Despite the coronavirus pandemic that has continued to ravage the world, Nigeria inclusive and efforts being made by governments at all levels and other critical stakeholders to stem the scourge, suspected herdsmen have continued to attack communities in Bassa LGA of Plateau State, leaving 15 persons death in past two weeks.
The Irigwe Development Association, IDA, on Friday raised concerns over the renewed attacks on villages by suspected herdsman.
The IDA appealed to the state government to wade into the matter by talking to the top echelon of the military to ensure the return of security operatives to the chiefdom.
The IDA disclosed this through its President, Hon. Sunday A. Abdu, in Jos, the State Capital.
Abdu said, “While our people have continued to remain indoors and law abiding in the wake of the national outcry over the virus, the assailant Fulani herdsmen have continued each day within the last two weeks ,to visit us with mayhem.
“On Wednesday, 1 April, Ancha , one of our troubled communities was visited once more in an attack that left three people dead and various houses razed. On Thursday 2 April, we woke up to bury six people burnt to death in Hukke from an overnight attack.
It would be recalled that last week, the Plateau State Police Command confirmed that five persons were killed in two separate attacks in Bassa LGA of the State.
The Police through its Public Relations Officer (PPRO) ASP Ubah Gabriel disclosed this in Jos, the State Capital.
Gabriel said, “The victims were killed in two separate attacks in Kpenrie and Gbra Zongo communities of Kwall on Tuesday”.
The IDA President maintained that, “As we prepared this release today, 3 April, the news came in that same nkyiedongwro suffered another night attack, such that there may be no house left unburnt.
He however stated that, “The dastardly activities of the assailants did not only end on us, as even the security personnel stationed to protect us have tested their venom when two of their comrades were murdered in cold blood.
“The entire rigwe land commiserates with the military over the avoidable loss of its men who paid the supreme price while protecting our lives.
Abdu further stated that the Irigwe chiefdom is worried by the recent withdrawal of men of the special security task force, (Operation Safe Haven) from their domain.
“When this happened beginning from 21 march, we thought is was a routine military action, and expected to see another set deployed. But it has been over a week since that action was carried out, and here we are with a resumption of hostilities on our soil”, he decried.
“That these atrocities have resumed, is the more reason we need security presence in our land.
“It must be noted that even in the North-East which has been the theatre of war with some losses incurred by the military, never is the army withdrawn.
“Why has our case been different?
“Are we to think that we are paying the price for a crime that the Fulani herdsmen committed by killing the two soldiers in question? He asked.
“We therefore appeal that the authorities immediately respond to our cry by returning the personnel.
“Also, we want to appeal to the Plateau State Government to as a matter of consolidating on the peace that the state has enjoyed for a while now, wade in by talking to the top echelon of the military to do the needful in this regard”, Abdu stressed.
“We are a people of peace and work daily to ensure it is sustained in our domain and the state as a whole”, he assured.