Plateau Killings: Fulani groups react as Governor Lalong tasks police to arrest attackers

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state

The Fulani community in Plateau State has condemned Sunday’s gun attacks on a bar in Kwatas village in Bokkos LGA of the state in which 13 persons were killed and several others injured.

The group also decried the burning of Fulani hamlets in reprisal attacks.

The state chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) , Isa Bappa, on Tuesday, spoke through a press statement in Jos.

On the same day, Governor Simon Lalong at a meeting with security officers and community leaders declared that all participants in the attacks must be brought to justice.

Mr Bappa, the MACBAN leader, said: “It is equally regrettable for some youth in Kwatas to launch attacks on Fulani communities as a reprisal. Both incidents are barbaric and condemnable.

“We call on the security agencies in the state as a matter of urgency to ensure the arrest of the perpetrators of all the attacks.

“However, it is unfortunate to read from the press release by the Plateau State Police Command dated January 27, 2020, that the attack was perpetrated by suspected Fulani herdsmen.”

Mr Bappa said the police were hasty in nailing Fulani herdsmen over the attack “because there was no clear evidence that the attack was launched by them.”

“We urge the security agencies to always do its homework before any declaration,” he said.

While calling on the government and the security to investigate and fish out the perpetrators to face the wrath of the law, he urged the people of the state to remain calm and embrace peace.

READ ALSO: 13 people killed in another Plateau violence – Police

On the same development, another Fulani organisation, Gani Allah Association, said 23 houses and one mosque were burnt down in the reprisal attacks on Fulani settlements.

“For no reason they burnt 23 houses of the Fulani, they also burnt down a Mosque,” the State Auditor of the group, Abubakar Yunus, said.

In a related development, Governor Simon Lalong during a meeting with security officers and major stakeholders, insisted that perpetrators of Sunday night killings and destruction of properties must be fished out .

The meeting was held at the Government House in Jos, according to a statement on Tuesday by the Director of Press and Public Affairs at Government House, Makut Macham.

“How can they say that people are killed and there is no arrest. Are those killing others spirits? I don’t think you can kill 15 human beings and claim you are spirit and there is not arrested?,” the statement quoted the governor as saying at the meeting.

“Commissioner of Police, you should take the community leaders and the Ardos with you so that they can tell you those behind these killings. By the time you go to the cell, you will bring out those people that are doing it. If you want to give evidence, give it to the commissioner of police. We are not afraid of criminals.”

He commended the efforts of community leaders.

“Some community leaders and Ardos have done their best but within us, there are criminals. We must expose them no matter how high. If you are one of them, you better take yourself to the police station.

“The Army is here, police, Civil Defence, DSS, Operation Rainbow. I want those people today. They should not sleep in their houses. By the time they are arrested, we will solve this problem,” the governor said.

At the meeting were heads of security agencies, traditional rulers, community leaders and Ardos representing the Fulani community.

The State Commissioner of Police, Isaac Akimoyede, expressed concern over the attacks.

“Since I have been in the state since February, no event of this magnitude has happened. We have been investigating the incident in Mangun and then this.”

He told the governor that he has deployed security personnel in the troubled areas to avert the spread of the crises beyond the initial areas.

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