Former Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, and former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Lumumba Dah Adeh, has cried for speedy intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Simon Lalong following the consistent killings by bandits in Miango and Irigwe communities in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.
He noted with dismay that that 40 persons had perished and eight inflicted with gunshot injuries while 15 communities in Irigwe Chiefdom had been displaced, leaving women and children at the mercy of God.
Dah Adeh, in a press statement issued in Jos on Friday said his people had been abandoned to die with their fate as government at all levels had not shown concerned about the well-being of the people.
He said: “Between January 1 and April 1, 2020, no less than 40 persons have been killed and eight injured in 19 separate attacks on 15 communities in Irigwe Chiefdom of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.
“Apart from those that lost their lives and those wounded, the communities are still reeling in pains over the loss of valuable property which include 15 farms, 330 houses and other items valued at millions of naira. Cars, food barns, water pumps, motor bikes etc were affected as a result of these attacks.
“While these killings have continued, the good people of Irigwe are constantly reminded that they are on their own and have no shoulders to lean on because even as the attacks persisted, there has been no strong committed response or action from either the local, state or federal government to reassure and give the people a sense of belonging as citizens of Nigeria.
“Much as the people of Irigwe do not want to believe that they have been abandoned to their fate, they observe with sadness that when other people suffer losses in similar circumstances, the government always identifies with them by quickly condemning such acts, reassuring the people of its concern and taking actions to prevent reoccurrence.”
He lamented that Federal agencies like NEMA and others charged with the statutory functions of bringing succor to the people in such circumstances have been totally absent.
Adeh said the Irigwe people whose major occupation is farming had been made to suffer deprivation and colossal losses in the past three years following the persistent attacks perpetrated by suspected Fulani militias.
He noted that they were unable to go and cultivate their farms; and whenever they braved it and succeed in cultivating and nurturing the crops, the crops are destroyed at the nick of harvest by the bandits.
He said the persistent killings and destruction of barns, buildings and other properties like automobiles were worrisome and points at an agenda to weaken and subdue or annihilate the Irigwes.
“At the initial stage of this spate of unwarranted and unprovoked attacks, the STF, the security outfit set up by government for the protection of citizens stationed units in the two districts of Miango and Kwall.
“This action had served in keeping the attackers at bay while boosting the confidence of the villagers bringing about relative peace until recently when the STF high command for reasons not stated, ordered the withdrawal of security personnel from the various stations.
“This action was immediately followed by the renewed spate of vicious, mindless and merciless attacks which started again on March 31, 2020 at Ancha in Miango district.
“Several pleas and presentations were made by stakeholders to the authorities to return the officers to those areas, but the pleas have fallen on deaf ears while the killings continued.
“Whereas the STF had initially given a good account of itself by protecting the people, there were occasions that their actions left much to be desired.”