Gyang Bere, Jos
A group Chakfem Development Association (CDA), has raised the alarm saying seven members of its community are missing following the violence that erupted between them and members of a neighbouring community in Mangun in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State over land dispute.
Chairman of Chakfem Development Association, Mr. Celestine Sonso, and Secretary General, Mr. Sunday Yakubu who addressed a press conference on Tuesday in Jos, accused the Mangun people of inflicting gunshots injuries on their people following the prolong land dispute that metamorphosis into violence.
“The Mangun people resorted to physical attacks and molestation of unsuspecting Chakfem travellers and non-Chakfem people passing through the major roads; they were harassed, detained and physically assaulted.
“Those who attempted to run away were pelted with stones and attacked with other cudgels like cutlasses and sticks. About seven motorcycles belonging to our people were vandalised and confiscated.
“Seven members of our people were unlawfully held in captivity and denied access to contact their family members. Their whereabouts are still unknown at the moment.”
Mr. Sonso explained that the lingering dispute was over farmland which the Chakfem community has obtained court judgements in their favour which have flagrantly flouted and disregarded by the Mangun people.
He said the crises have been widening in all its ramifications which range from blocking of its sources of drinking water, encroachment into their ancestral lands, destruction of crops, vandalisation and digging up of public road which has caused untold hardship to the Chakfem people which led to the abduction of seven members of the community.
“The culprits responsible for the disappearance of seven captives have left their families and the entire Chakfem District traumatised and in deep pain. As far as we know, none of the kidnappers had been arrested and brought to account for their dastardly acts.”
Sonso alleged that the latest crisis in the penultimate week occurred when a group of people from Chakfem embarked on a road construction to provide access road to their farmlands but were harassed and wounded by sporadic gunshots and pelting with stones by suspected Mangun people at Shampsk, a neighbouring Chakfem settlement.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Mangun Development Association, Mr. Pius who spoke to our reporter on phone said he could not discuss the issues on phone and described the allegations as untrue.
Pius promised to call our reporter after his busy schedule but fail as his line was switched off about the time of writing this report.