Gyang Bere, Jos
Nothing had prepared the 28-year-old woman, Mrs Laraba Sunday Wollo, for the double tragedy that befell her and her family recently. But her world came tumbling down when on Sunday, July 14, 2019, her husband, Thomas Wollo, 46, and her only son, seven-year-old Nggwe were killed in a most gruesome manner by suspected Fulani herdsmen who were said to be terrorising the community of late.
As she wailed about the fate that had befallen her you could not help but bow your head in tears. As it were, her only child, Nggwe whose presence could have helped to console her was also killed as he had followed his father, said to be a committed chorister, to Roman Catholic Church Tafigana in Miango Distinct of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, where he had gone for choir practice.
Having finished the rehearsal, Wollo was said to have taken his leave from the parish priest and began his journey home with his child, Nggwe. They were unaware that death, in the form of some faceless herdsmen, was lurking along their route home.
How they were killed
At about 8:30 pm, according to sources, the killers struck and murdered both father and son. Wollo’s death appears to be one of the most painful ones as his killers reportedly subjected him to horrific torture, broke his legs, ribs, removed his intestines before beheading him. His mutilated body was later dumped few metres away from his home. Next, they went after his seven-year-old son who had earlier watched with horror and trepidation as they kill his father. He too was tortured and killed to allegedly prevent him from revealing the identities of the killers who were said to be known faces to both the man and his son.
The boy was said to have earnestly begged for his life, but all his pleadings fell on deaf ear, as he was finally dispatched to the great beyond after going through his own session of torture at the hand of the herdsmen said to be armed with axe, cutlass and other dangerous weapons. His body was dumped on the same spot alongside his father’s. It was not until the following morning that their bodies were discovered by worshippers said to be going for early morning devotion.
Nggwe is said to be so close to his father that he doesn’t allow him a breathing space. He always followed him everywhere he went, particularly on Sundays. But on that fateful Sunday, his mother was said to have asked him not to follow his father to choir practice but she could not succeed in persuading him not to go.
Bemoaning their fate
Today, Laraba Wollo is left without a companion. Out of the six children she and her husband are blessed with, Nggwe is the only male child. On him, the couple had built so much hope as the person to take over from his father as the head of the family. Now that hope is gone. After the youngest female child was born six months ago, thee couple were anticipating to have a male child after that. That hope too, from all indications, appears to be lost.
Laraba was in shock and confused when the sad news of the gruesome murder of her husband and their only male child was broken to her. She cried and wailed until she could weep no more. According to eyewitnesses, she almost killed herself when she sighted the corpse of her husband without head. The clothes and the jacket he wore on that fateful Sunday was said to be soaked with his blood.
“I have never seen this kind of thing,” she told Saturday Sun. “I have been hearing that happening to others but I never thought it will happen to me. I can’t imagine my husband without a head. I don’t know what they intend to do with his head. I am pleading with them to return his head so that we can give him a proper burial.”
Bemoaning further the fate that befell her, she said exasperatedly, “for God’s sake, where will I start from? I wish my son was alive but the unfortunate thing is that they were both killed in similar situation. With this, the entire family has been wiped out.” Then she turned and looked into the air: “What have I done to deserve this?” she asked rhetorically. “What does these people want from me? I wish that my son had listened to me and stayed back home.”
Since after the incident, the woman is not more than a walking corpse as sympathizers continue to troop to the family compound to share in her sorrow and to condole with the family over the big loss.
Speaking on the matter, the National Publicity Secretary of Miango Development Association, Zongo Lawrence, appealed for federal government’s intervention to end the persistent killings in the area.
“We have been experiencing daily attacks by Fulani herdsmen in our communities, most especially on Sundays and Thursdays during worship and market days,” he said.
Talking about their alleged daily rampage, he said: “They are determined to displaced us and to take our ancestral land forcefully but we will resist their plans, we can’t give up our land so cheaply. We will prefer to die in our land than run and leave it for them.”
He added: “On the same day, the attackers also went to Hukke village and destroyed our farm produce worth millions of naira. This singular act has instilled fear in our people and some are not willing to go to farm for fear of being killed. We are calling the attention of federal and state governments to look into the situation of such unlawful killings in our communities. We are left without help. We are also calling on the international community, to, please, come to our aid because we are under strong siege.”