From Gyang Bere, Jos
Tears of anguish cascaded down the cheeks of people in Diyan village, in Rim District of Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State when victims of a midnight attack were given mass burial.
Survivors and relations watched painfully as corpses of their loved ones were lowered laid into a mass grave, yesterday.
The deceased were ambushed and shot dead by suspected Fulani herdsmen while returning from Makera market on Tuesday night.
Daily Sun visited the scene and gathered that a Golf Volkswagen car was conveying 16 passengers who are related from the Makera market and thereafter, the vehicle was attacked and nine people were killed, while five others were inflicted with 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 on burying their corpses.
Member representing Riyom Constituency in the House of Assembly and Chairman, Committee on Labour and Security, Hon. Daniel Dem said the entire local government area is under siege.
“We have been under siege. Some weeks back, Fulani herdsmen complained that one of their member was killed of which we had no knowledge and they said they would attack this community.If somebody comes out clearly before the STF and said he would attack a community and nine youths were ambushed after a week and killed, that person should be arrested and interrogated. Heads of Fulani in Riyom should be arrested and interrogated by the Defence Headquarters; enough of these mass killings.”
Chairman of Riyom Local Government Area, Hon. Emmanuel Jugul said most of the natives have been sacked from their ancestral lands and those lands forcefully taken over by the Fulani.
He alleged the natives were sacked from Mahanga and Gweva communities and their land and houses were forcefully taken over by the Fulanis.
Jugul called on the Federal Government to intervene on 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 to. Today, a native of Riyom cannot go Mahanga because they will be killed by the Fulani people. Fulani are saying 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. The federal government must do something urgently.”
Governor Simon Lalong, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dan Manjang, begged government to empower state governors with the desired power to deploy security to troubles areas.
He urged the Special Task Force (STF) to swing into action and unravel the culprits behind the killings with the view to prosecute them openly to go to jail.