The Sunday massacre in Plateau State by Fulani herdsmen provoked unforeseen uncertainties in the state as residents cried out that the Fulani race has grand plot to overrun their land and forcefully take possession of their territory. Some of the opinion leaders are already considering the option of self-defense advocated by T.Y. Danjuma in Taraba State.
In an interaction with National Daily from Plateau, Ende Molwus, a notable stakeholder in Plateau State and a 2019 senatorial aspirant for Plateau Central, expressed: “there is a grand design by the Fulani herdsmen to overrun some areas of our land they claim belong to them. In their normal falsehood, they claim herds of cattle were killed, and so, they were on revenge killings.”
The elder statesman from Plateau Central complained that the killings in the state are beyond issues of steal9ing or killing cows belonging to the Fulani herdsmen but has to do with land acquisition and violent occupation of their territory.
Molwus revealed that the Sunday massacre continued into Monday, saying that the herdsmen started shooting people who went to bury their dead killed by the herdsmen on Sunday.
Molwus lamented that the Monday attack was appalling because “security was provided for those who went for the burial of their dead but that did not deter the Fulani herdsmen who were shooting while the security operatives were there.” He reiterated that they had security escort to protect them and ensure their safety but they were still vulnerable to attacks. He added that even people who were in the cars were shot and wounded.
The senatorial aspirant narrated that the people went to bury their dead in Barkin Ladi, along Gashishi Village when the assailants struck.
Molwus said that the killers destroyed Churches but Mosques are not touched.
He narrated that a member of a local Church – Gogin Church – and some other people who are members of the church were shot by the gunmen.
Molwus contended: “all through the killings, Muslims attack Christians; it has never been the other way round. So, these are deliberate serial killings to annihilate the Christian race in Plateau State.”
The Platteau elder statesman was of the view that the All Progressives Congress (APC) government has formed the impression that they have intervened and there is peace.
He decried that the people going to communities to kill indigenes are not spirit; they are human beings; protesting that none have been arrested. “They are walking freely on the streets, even after their acts of murder and manslaughter in our communities. The security operatives look the other way while the herdsmen are killing and destroying property,” Molwus said.
He further argued that “either security has collapsed or they have compromised security.”
Molwus argued: “It is mischievous for anyone to link the killings to rustling of 300 cows. It is a lie by the Miyyetti Allah to justify the massacre of our people by their members. The claims are falsified or exaggerated to exonerate the Fulani killers. And government seems to be playing politics with religious killings.”
He acknowledged that government said that it has sent in more troops and that the Vice President visited the state on Monday.
Molwus expressed suspicion of bias by President Muhammadu Buhari, who he alleged could be protecting his kinsmen involved in the mass killing of people in the state.
“We are suspecting the President and security agencies are taking sides because the killers are Fulani. That’s the feeling of our people in Plateau,” Molwus declared.
He further admonished that the bloodbath is spreading; adding: “Our worry is that it may reach to a point that people will take seriously the statement of T.Y. Danjuma that people should defend themselves. We are not short of the stamina for survival or to defend ourselves. People should defend themselves to survive. Our people have the capacity for self-defense and we are getting to that,” Molwus declared.
He maintained that Plateau people are angry and unfortunately, the governor of the state is not reasoning with the people.
“We have a governor who is supposed to have taken side with the people and present a strong case to the federal government but he is pretending to play safe. He should take side with the people, that is our expectation; that is what we are waiting for,” he declared.