From Gyang Bere, Jos
Victims of midnight attack in Diyan Village, in Rim District of Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State were Wednesday buried in common grave as anguish took over the mood in the community.
Survivors and relations painfully watched the remains of their loved ones laid side by side in one grave.
The deceased were ambushed and shot dead by suspected Fulani herdsmen while returning from the Makera Market Tuesday night.
Daily Sun reporter who visited the scene was told that a Golf car was conveying 16 passengers who are related from the market, the vehicle was attacked and nine of the passengers were killed, while five others were inflicted gunshots injuries.
Six of the deceased persons were buried in one grave at Gwa-Rim and two others were buried at Wereng Rim as each of the neighbouring villages insisted to bury the remains of their relation.
Member representing Riyom Constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly and Chairman House Committee on Labour and Security, Hon. Daniel Dem said the entire Local Government Area has been under siege.
“We have been under siege, some weeks back, Fulani herdsmen complained that one of their members was killed which we don’t know and they said they were going to attack this community and they have taken the laws into their hands.
“If somebody came out clearly before the STF and said he is going to attack a community and nine youths were later ambushed after a week and killed, that persons should be arrested and interrogated. The heads of Fulani in Riyom should be arrested and interrogated by the Defence Headquarters, enough of this mass killing.”
Chairman of Riyom Local Government Area, Hon. Emmanuel Jugul said most of the natives have been sacked from their ancestral lands and their lands forcefully taken over by the Fulani.
He said the natives were sacked from Mahanga and Gweva communities and their land and houses were taken over by the Fulani herdsmen forcefully.
Jugul called on the federal government to intervene in the killing and forceful possession of lands belonging to the locals by Fulani in Riyom to avert national crisis.
“You can imagine that there are villages that indigenes cannot go, today, a native of Riyom cannot go to Mahanga because they will be killed by the Fulani residents that took over the land. Fulani say that they have captured some places, was there any war in Riyom? I know of crisis and attacks and people want to go back to their homes but the Fulani refused that they have conquered those villages.”
Governor Lalong who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dan Manjang, begged the FG to empower state governors to deploy security to troubles areas.
He urged the Special Task Force (STF) to swing into action and unravel people behind the killings to prosecute them and those found guilty punished.
“The Governor is the Chief Security of the State, but he does not have the power to deploy any security officer. A DPO is more powerful than the governor of the state, the powers that is given to the Inspector General of Police and the Chief of Defence Staff should be given to the state governors in the interest of the unity of Nigeria.”
He called on the people to be calm and not to take the law into their hands as government is working with security chiefs in the state to protect them.