The Plateau State chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), has alleged that natives of Mwaghavul in the Mangu Local Government are planning to annihilate Fulani communities from the area.
The MACBAN in a petition by its Chairman, Muhammad Nura, to the governor of the state, Simon Lalong, and heads of security agencies also claimed that over 25,000 cattle belonging to its members are missing in the area.
They claimed that the cattle were either killed or rustled by Mwaghavul natives.
MACBAN claimed that coordinated attacks against Fulanis were carried out in the following communities in the area: Bwoi, Kombun, Sarfal, Rinago, Jukga, Kuwes, Kaangag, Farinkasa, Kerana, Lugga Dimeza, Fungong, Gindiri Gok, Bughan Gida, Millet, Rufwang, Tidiu, Dejwak Rufwang, Lupo, Wushik, Jwack Chan, Hilltop.
On 17 May coordinated attacks on Mwaghavul communities were carried out by suspected herders.
The community leaders claimed 125 people were killed in the attacks. Though police later said 85 people were killed and 37 injured.
The herders in the area are mainly ethnic Fulanis.
There is a history of tit-for-tat attacks in Central Nigeria between herders and farmers.
The group claimed Fulanis were not allowed to bury their dead from the mayhem according to their religious rites.
“What baffled us most is how vultures, dogs and other animals have eaten the dead bodies of our loved ones kept scattered across the Mangu local government.
“Hundreds of thousands of our livestock including cows, goats sheep, turkeys, ducks, chickens and other animals are also roaming about while some are being rustled away (allegedly) by the Mwaghavul.
“Foods items, household properties, motorcycles, water pump machines and other valuables to just mention but a few were either looted or burned down.
“We want government and other stakeholders in the state to investigate the reoccurrences of the crises in the state to unearth the causes to resolve it once and for all.
“We observed that an early warning signal of the mayhem was noted in the Mangu Local Government area about a month ago.
“That time, killings, destruction of properties, cattle rustling, road barricades, rumour peddling, threats, intimidations and harassments were executed on Fulani in the area,” MACBAN said in the petition.
They blamed highly placed personalities including politicians, traditional rulers, security personnel and religious leaders in the area for playing an active role, during the communal clash.
“Reliable information reaching us revealed that some experts in cattle rustling and mercenaries were hired and brought into the areas in large numbers.
“Therefore, cattle rustling and isolated killings are the lucrative business in the areas at the moment.
“On Friday 19/5/2023 some 80 cows were recovered from cattle rustler in Panyam trying to escape with them.
“On the same day of 19/5/2023 another 73 cows were also recovered at Garam village of Kanke LGA
“On the same day Friday 19/5/2023, the military officer Commanding Gembos under heavy guns battle have recovered about 70 cows at Mangu Halle Town”, the MACBAN stated.
Countering the MACBAN’s allegations, the Plateau Youth Council in a statement accused the Fulanis of genocide.
The organisation’s chairman, Lot Adas, said MACBAN should call its members to order to stop the killings of innocent Plateau people.
“We are, therefore, calling on and advise the author and signatory of the petition to, in the best interest, call his people to order to stop the killings of innocent Plateau people forthwith.
“Unless and until the prevailing security environment is radically changed, it remains conducive for Fulani militias to continue raining havoc on defenceless hamlets, villages and communities with impunity.
“This is why we are calling on the international community to use its good offices to prevail on Nigeria’s Government to live up to its constitutional responsibility of protecting lives and property as well as providing succour to the survivors of these attacks and the displaced,” Mr Adas said.
Mr Adas claimed that his people have now been reduced to second-class citizens in their own country.
“Therefore, the clarion call is, to make every effort to help yourself before anyone else does. However, Nigeria’s Government owes all citizens the constitutional duty of protecting lives and property, and this is what we demand from our rulers,” the youth council said.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.Donate
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999