CATTLES NOW MORE VALUABLE THAN HUMANS AS PLATEAU BURNS

Nigerians are still shocked and have cried out in outrage at the senseless killings that happened in Plateau State over the weekend. The villages of Gindi Akwati, Ruku, Kura, Rapps, Kinshan, Gengere, Heipang, and Gana Ropp, all in Xland, and Gindin Akwati Communities of Barkin Ladi LGA were attacked and over 150 people killed according to eye witness reports, while the Plateau State Police Command puts the death toll at 86. It was also gathered that about fifty houses, fifteen motorcycles and two vehicles were also burnt down.

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Regardless of the body count, the most important thing is that human lives has been wasted yet again in the seemingly unending battles between herdsmen and innocent villagers. While most people are condemning these atrocious acts and asking the Buhari administration to put a final end to the senseless killings. Information gathered by PREMIUM TIMES revealed that the killings are a reprisal attack by the herdsmen over the killing of about 300 cattle by members of some communities in Barkin Ladi LGA, some weeks ago.

According to PREMIUM TIMES “Two days before the Saturday massacre of mainly Christian mourners in Barkin Ladi, Plateau State, four Fulani cattle traders were murdered in the same area. Pam Chollom, a pastor of the Church of Christ In Nations (COCIN) in the area, blamed the attack on armed herdsmen, saying that most of the over 120 victims were returning from the burial of a community leader.

Also a leader of Fulani herdsmen said he believed the killing was a reprisal attack. He suggested the killings were in retaliation for the killing of hundreds of cows allegedly by ethnic Berom youth.

“These attacks are retaliatory,” Danladi Ciroma, the chairman of the North Central Chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), said on Monday.

“As much as I don’t support the killing of human being, the truth must be told that those who carried out the attacks must be on revenge mission.

“Fulani herdsmen have lost about 300 cows in the last few weeks – 94 cows were rustled by armed Berom youths in Fan village, another 36 cows were killed by Berom youths. In addition to that, 174 cattle were rustled, and this led to the death of four cattle traders” he added.

The immediate action by the Plateau State Governor Mr Simon Lalong, who immediately returned to Plateau State from Abuja and also declared a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the affected areas was highly commended by well-meaning Nigerians. However much action is yet to be seen on the Federal front as regards stopping the killings and securing lives and properties of the citizens of Plateau in particular and Nigerians in general.

Interestingly, while Nigerians both rich and poor have used various platforms to condemn the killings, even politicians have sent out strongly worded condemnations about the killings, the APC party still reeling from the success of its convention last Saturday, has not put up any statement or press release either on its Website, or Twitter handle. However President Buhari’s twitter handle has been agog with updates that the Chief of Defence Staff Gen Abayomi Olanisakin, has approved the deployment of additional Special Forces to Plateau State, who arrived on Monday 25 June. He also disclosed via twitter, distress numbers for Plateau State residents to call. And also stated that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, will be visiting the State to assess the situation and also condole with the affected families and communities.

Meanwhile the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the killings and urged the federal government to take its responsibility of protecting lives and property in the country seriously, telling it to stop indulging in a blame game each time there is a crisis.

The party through its Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said “These killings are one too many. This bloodletting has become unbearable to Nigerians. So government should stop engaging in blame game but should take up its responsibility by protecting the lives and property of Nigerians”.

Do you think there will be an end to Fulani herdsmen/communal clashes?

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