Plateau: Govt denies reports of killing of 350 herdsmen, rustling of 850 cows, calls for arrest of Fulani leaders

The Plateau State government has described as fallacious and misleading claims by a coalition of Fulani groups that they lost 350 herders and 850 cattle in the recurring crises in the state.

A coalition of Fulani groups made up Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN),
Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN), Bajoil Fulani, Jonde Jam Kautal Hore and Lawul Fulaku, had addressed the press alleging that between July 14, 2023 and now, 350 of their members were killed while they lost 850 cows to cattle rustling.

But Commissioner of Information and Communication Hon. Musa Ibrahim Ashoms, who spoke at a concert organised by Plateau Youth Peace and Progressive Forum, otherwise known as G17, said that the allegation was misleading and a clear misrepresentation of the facts.

He described the Fulani leaders as harbingers of disunity and asked security agencies to arrest them for spreading false allegation to mislead the public.

The commissioner, who represented Governor Caleb Mutfwang at the event, said if the allegations were true, why was it not reported to security agencies and why did it take them so long to come up with these figures.

He said, “”We are sad that some groups have issued a statement that is not true today Sunday and said 350 people that belong to their association were killed. This is not true. We are peace-loving people on the Plateau we do not kill. When a soul is lost on the Plateau, It puts us in a weeping moment. So they should know and note that such a thing never happened on the Plateau. We are not killers We are known for our peace. We are known for our hospitality. We are known for our industry.

“So that is misleading, that is mischievous, that is malicious. We are very, very serious with our people. We cannot be dancing on the graves of our people.

“This is not time for grammar. We’ve lost lives. We will not come after many weeks to come and cook up bull stories. Please security agencies should arrest this person, This is intelligence they have given us. You cannot just come and say people were killed on the 21st, on the 22nd and the 23rd and nobody heard about it.

“Please, security agencies we are using this opportunity to call on you to arrest these people because they have shown that they do not like peace.

“They’ve shown that they are habitats of disunity. As a government will continue to protect our people. we will work hard to defend our state. So please your prayer is important, accept your solidarity and support. These are trying times and as a government will not relent in our efforts. We will not betray the plateau state.

Ashoms said the government is doing everything to ensure that peace returns to the state

He said, “His Excellency Barr. Caleb Mutfwang has asked me to tell you that weeping may endure for the night, but Joy comes in the morning.

“As I stated, we are advocating for state policing because it is obvious that our territory cannot be protected by the federal might and as a people we are very very saddened by this situation.

“We are here this evening, courtesy of the Plateau Youth G-17 Peace and Progressive Forum to mourn our fallen heroes. The Government of Governor Mutfwang is doing everything possible to ensure that Peace returns to Plateau, he will stand to defend the Mandate of the people,

G17, which is an aggregation of youths from the 17 local government areas in the state gathered Sunday evening to mourn the hundreds of people killed in the Christmas Eve attack in three local government areas of Barkin Ladi, Bokkos and Mangu.

In the solemn ceremony, which was held like a concert, speaker after speaker bemoaned the loss of innocent blood, saying the perpetrators of violence are taking advantage of the sharp divide among the political class, which had made a united concert among Plateau people practically impossible.

Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Ephraim Usman, called on Plateau people to close ranks, be vigilant and watchful because many people do not wish the state well.

He said, “I went through the list of the victims and I shook my head. Plateau we have lost a lot. We must stand firm and be strong. By the grace of God. We will be united to defeat the enemy. We will not come together to mourn our citizens again, but we must unite together to fight our enemies

Chuwang Pwajok, who represented Convener, Dachum Bagos, rallied the youths to come together to fight a common cause and protect their land and people.


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