Another round of bloodbath appears on the offing following indicators suggesting the Fulani militia have begun assembling weapons and militiamen in the Southern Kaduna/Northern Plateau regions of the North Central area of the Nation. It is feared the level of preparedness by the assailants is above the level ever witnessed before. This is according to community leaders who claim firsthand knowledge of the impending danger.
Information available to 247ureports.com obtained from competent sources within the affected rural communities in Plateau and Kaduna States reveal Fulani militia has taken control of 50villages [about 25% of the entire land mass] in the Northern regions of Plateau State near the area bordered by Kaduna and Nasarawa States where Kura Falls is located about 77kilometers from Jos. The space of land also covering parts of Bukuru is vast with rich savannah vegetation and mountainous ranges and lakes suitable for grazing.
Against intelligence from the sensitive echelons of the security structure of the federal government, the military launched aerial surveillance of the aforementioned area to combat Fulani militia who are regrouping in the forests for possible attacks against the villages inside southern Kaduna and Northern Plateau State.
“Fulani has taken over most of the villages in Riyom LGA, Barki Ladi LGA, Bokkos LGA and Miango LGA” cried an Anglican Reverend based in Jos.
This is while indigenes of the mentioned regions claim foulplay.
According to them, there exist a consorted effort by elements within the military to aid the Fulani militia. Most major attacks by the militia are preceded by a major surveillance operation by the military. The type currently being undertaken by the military.
“They usually use helicopters to fly around in the cities and urban areas where they know the militias are not residing”. The militias are residing in the forests and mountains. “It is public knowledge but they will come to town harassing people with low flying helicopters while the killers are staged in the forests”. The villagers claim the next major attack is just around the corner – especially since the military commenced operation three days ago.
“They build big offices in town”, a former vigilante officer notes, they “know exactly what they are doing”. The military erect big offices in town and drive around in intimidating vehicles inside the cities away from where the enemies are. No presence at the area where the enemies are believed to be staging. When the militia strikes, they wait to be alerted and for the signal to come from Abuja to clear the way for action. After receiving the signal to strike, the military operators will then take off towards the area hit by the militia. By then, its late arrival.
One of the community leaders who lamented to 247ureports.com of an instance where a community was attacked almost within sight of a military post added that “Hura was attacked on Tuesday about half a mile away from an army post”. The army post made no move. The attack occurred deep in the night – erratic release of heavy gun fire from sophisticated machine guns – which should and/or must have caught the attention of the Army post. But the attackers were allowed to have their way.
Just two days ago, near the 3rd Army Division – Maxwell Kobe Cantonment, nine people were killed. And nothing resulted from the deaths. The Plateau State government stayed mute. The GOC “has not said anything”. Only the police spoke. They said they were investigating the killings. The findings from investigation remain unknown.
“The helicopters are only ceremonial”. Recently in Ganawuri village, a youth was kidnapped and was later found dead. Three gallant and patriotic soldiers who dared to push the envelope, were shot while on patrol. Within two weeks alone, “we’ve had 30 casualties”.
But in talking with the secretary to the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in Plateau State, Abdullahi Ardo, he differs in his take on the increasing rate of attack. He told 247ureports.com, “There are people working against the interests of both groups [the Fulani and the indigenes]”. In his take, the Fulani has also been on the receiving end of the killings. “The military has been killing us too”.
Ardo points to the ugly effects of propaganda as one of the drawbacks to conflict resolution. “Social media is not helping matters”. According to the Secretary, each time there is an attack, old photograph will be posted on social media to strike tribal sentiments against the Fulani tribe. “Each tribe has good and bad eggs.”
Ardo has been involved with non-governmental organizations working towards conflict resolution in the supposed conflict. He revealed that “they have caught people who were not Fulani by tribe but who wore Fulani clothing to attack villages”. In his take, the driving force behind the attacks aren’t ethnicity but criminality.
To the claim Fulani militias are hiding inside nearby forests, Ardo added, “why not fish them out if they see the Fulani militia in the bush. They should organize themselves and fish them out”. To which, a local cleric who wishes for his name to be withheld, countered that the villagers and the youths had tried their best to “fish them out” but failed.
According to the Cleric, the youth failed because of connivance between the military and the Fulani. Each time the youths mobilize to engage the militia inside the forest – the Fulani cattle herders who acts as spies will give the militias a heads up. Then, the military will be alerted. What follows is the army coming to the villages to arrest and disarm the youths. After which, a major attack by the militia will descend upon the villages.
President Buhari shaking hands with the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong
Worsening matters is the Governor’s disposition towards the conflict. He sees the conflict as a Birom/Fulani affair. “He has a vendetta against the Birom people”. The Governor, Simon Lalong, who hails from Shendam in the southern region of the State where the said Fulani militia attacks are nonexistent does not view the conflict as a priority item. “Our survival is solely on God’s mercy. Our Governor is mere ceremonial.” laments a prominent political leader in Jos.