Villagers in Riyom and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas of Plateau State have raised the alarm over an alleged plan by armed Fulani militants to launch fresh attacks on the villages, and called on the security agents for help.
The concerned villagers said they had discovered a training camp of unknown gunmen behind the hills of Rim near Riyom.
The villagers said: “The alarm has become necessary so as to attract security agencies to come to our aid in protection, the whole of Bachit district is under serious risk of gunmen attack, and if nothing is done to improve security surveillance in the areas, it may turn out bloody.”
A member of a vigilantegroup in Riyom, Mr. Dangyang Bulus, said: “We gathered that one of the Fulanis living with us was invited to join them in their training camp, that one deceived them by telling them he would go home and prepare to join them later but refused to go back to the camp.
“It was the Fulani neighbour that revealed the secret to us, we have communicated to the police and security agencies in charge of these areas, but from all indications, they are afraid of going there, some of them even said we are raising false alarm.
“This gunmen could strike any time, that is why we are raising this alarm. If this planned attack is not prevented, we will hold the security agencies responsible for any loss of lives and property because past attacks by these gunmen had heavy casualties.”
A copy of the petition sent to the state police commissioner by members of Shonong community indicated that a lot men from the community had been killed while working on their farms last month.
The petitioned signed by Shonong Youth leader, Yohanna Ciroma, described the situation in the area as silent terrorism, saying “our communities have been under a siege by armed Fulani men.”
A member represeanting Riyom constituency at the state House of Assembly, Hon Daniel Dem, also confirmed the danger his people are facing.
Dem said: “This is an act of terrorism against my people, they can no longer go to their farms because they are consistently been attacked by suspected Fulani herds men.”
He said: “The Fulani come into our farmland and will deliberately lead their cattle to graze on crops, if you complain you are killed instantly.
“Close to seven members of my constituency have been killed in Rim village of Riyom in the past two weeks by our attackers on their farms, and this has forced them to abandon their farms”
Dem, who is also the Majority leader of the state House of Assembly further alleged that some security operatives must be aiding some of the attackers. He wondered why men of the Special Task Force (STF) deployed in the area could not stop the persistent attacks.
“In most of the villages attacked, there are presence of men of the STF. Why are they not going after the attackers,” Dem queried.
He charged the security operatives to wake up to their responsibilities of protecting citizens of the locality.