From Gyang Bere, Jos
Fulani herdsmen are planning to ‘wipe away’ the Irigwe people and take over their land, according to the Irigwe Development Association (IDA) in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.
IDA National President Mr Robert Dodo made the claim on Tuesday at a press briefing in Jos, saying over 40 members of the Irigwe community, including children, have been killed since January.
‘The Fulani herdsmen’s devilish… acts are orchestrated by the fact that they want to annihilate and wipe away the entire Rigwe tribe; in short, ethnic cleaning or, it this seems unachievable, the alternative according to them is to depopulate the Irigwe nation,’ he said.
‘In spite of these series of the unabated attacks on Rigwe land by Fulani militias, we have had less attention from those whose primary responsibility is the security of lives and property of all citizens.
‘We are pained and have been allowed to mourn and grief on our own as if we don’t have those at the helm of affairs seeing and watching the Fulani nihilists unleash terror on our people,’ Dodo lamented.
He urged the government at all levels to compensate victims of attacks from the Irigwe chiefdom of Bassa, Plateau, following the myriad of killings in the area.
Dodo, who lamented that thousands of its people are currently displaced, decried that no form of support has come to them.
The national president called on the government to as a matter of urgency direct the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to carry out an assessment of the affected communities with a view of providing succour.
‘It is no longer news that Irigwe chiefdom has been under series of attacks in recent past and the effects of these had resulted in the destruction of lives and property, materials carted away, destruction of farmlands and crops and houses burnt.
‘As a nation, we call for immediate provision of materials to the victims of the attacks as well as direct SEMA and NEMA to carry out an assessment on all the affected communities with a view of providing succour
‘We also call on government to as a matter of utmost importance initiate a rebuilding plan to have all the houses razed down rebuilt so as to enable the owners to return to their ancestral lands.
‘We urge goverment to compensate the people whose farmlands and crops had been destroyed,’ he stated
Dodo called on the government to temporarily suspend grazing in their communities to enable herders and natives to dialogue on better ways of cohabiting.
He called on security agencies to intensify efforts toward ending killings in the chiefdom and the state a whole.
He further urged they arrest, investigate and prosecute perpetrators, adding such a move would serve as a deterrent.
He also called for the deployment of additional security personnel to various communities to improve the security of lives and property.
Dodo appealed to the Irigwe people to be law-abiding and be peaceful.
‘We call on our people to continue to be law-abiding, explore avenues of peacebuilding and peaceful coexistence, respect constituted authorities and report any threat that is capable of causing confusion in the chiefdom,’ Doda said.