Fulani settlements in Barikin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau Thursday accused officers and men of the Special Task Force, (STF) of carrying out coordinated attacks on four of their villages, destroying over 100 houses in the process.
“Four villages were raided and the Fulani houses set ablazed. Properties destroyed could only be imagined. The following villages were raided Chonong2, Sharu, Kuzen and Mate,” the Fulani, through its group, Miyetti-Allah, claimed in an email sent to PREMIUM TIMES.
They also said that approximately 100 houses were razed in the four villages, saying, “There is no exaggeration in the figures given as we have facts to back our claim”.
The group also accused the STF of raiding shops, stealing food stuff and burning household items.
“People that were hiding in the nearby bushes saw them helping themselves to bottles of soft drinks. Chickens and goats/sheep were equally not spared in the unholy feast, “they said.
They killed our cows
“After the exercise, some of them that were retreating to their base met a herd of grazing cattle and opened fire on them,” the statement said.
According to the Fulani villagers, military helicopter dropped what they suspect to be explosive devices in their neighbourhood.
The Fulani expressed great sadness at the attack, saying the attackers misplaced their aggression.
“If the aim is to avenge the killings done in other Berom villages by Boko Haram, they are directing their aggression to the wrong people.
“We are not a party to what is happening, beside the claim by Boko Haram. If they have any evidence linking the Fulani to this issues, they should come up with their proof. We are also victims of the crisis that deserve equal protection from the security forces,” they said.
The statement further called on the authorities to investigate the “heinous acts”. “People rendered homeless need urgent assistance. Where will the Fulanis run to in this rainy season without food, bedding etc with women and children crying on empty stomach. God will intervene at the right time.”
When contacted, the spokesperson of the STF, Salisu Mustapha, denied the allegations made by the Fulanis, labeling them “absolute and blatant lies”
Mr. Mustapha said since the area started experiencing incessant attacks, the STF had conducted patrol in villages around Barikin Ladi and Riyom local governments and “not a single house was destroyed”.