Herdsmen convert 45 Plateau villages into cattle colonies

Plateau State governor, Mr. Simon Lalong

A lawmaker representing Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency of Plateau State, Mr. Istifanus Gyang has raised the alarm that about 45 villages in the constituency had been forcefully sacked and converted into cattle colonies by armed herdsmen.

Speaking on the floor of the house under personal explanation, the lawmaker appealed to the federal government to deploy security agencies to curtail ongoing crisis and prevent the constituency from being annihilated by militia herdsmen.

“Last week, two district heads had their palaces destroyed. One was burnt to ashes. I am pleading with President Buhari to help save my constituency from being turned into a cattle colony,” he said.

Gyang pleaded with to the national assembly to save the remaining villages from being overrun by the attackers, adding that killings were still continuing in the area.

He revealed that new settlements by ‘foreigners’ were springing up in communities where indigenes were chased out by the attackers.

He said those being targeted were the ones who had earlier been chased from the communities and who were beginning to settle down to a normal life after returning from internally displaced persons camps around the state.

The lawmaker described his people as a “small ethnic group in Nigeria, and if nothing is not urgently done, this would lead to our final extinction of due to incessant daily attacks in the area.”

In a related development, the House urged the president to set up a committee similar to that of the North East zone to intervene and rehabilitate individuals, communities, and public infrastructure affected by the crisis.

The resolution of the House was referred to the Committee on Special Duties.

The mover of the motion, titled, ‘Call for Rehabilitation of Victims of Jos Crisis,’ Johnbull Shekarau, noted that Plateau State had suffered series of ethno-religious crisis in the recent past resulting in the loss of hundreds of lives and destruction of public infrastructure and private properties worth hundreds of billions of naira.

He said several efforts were made involving the local, state, and federal governments, in collaboration with spirited individuals and organisations within and outside the country, to bring back lasting peace in the state.

“With the return of peace in the state, activities are yet to return to normalcy as the pains and frustrations left behind are felt by inhabitants due to lack of coordinated intervention to rehabilitate victims and rebuild communities affected by the prolonged crisis.

“Efforts to include Plateau and Kano states in the North-East Development Commission and the Presidential Initiative on the North-East zone were unsuccessful due to geographical location despite similar experiences.”

Shekarau noted that the absence of a coordinated intervention and rehabilitation effort in a post-crisis era has seriously affected the pace of recovery and reintegration of individuals and the rebuilding of damaged infrastructure in communities, thereby deepening the suffering and heightening frustration among inhabitants.

Both motions were unanimously adopted and passed via voice vote, having been put to vote by the speaker, Yakubu Dogara.

With ThisDay and Daily Independent reports


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