Killings in Plateau: Fake news or not


-By Joseph Edun

‘I did not say the Plateau attacks were retaliatory’, says Miyetti Allah

The plateau killings started gradually over a decade ago. Till recently, it has mainly been seen as a ethnic attack or as a false alarm. Things however have escalated this month.

Between the afternoon of June 23 and the early hours of June 25, killings happened in several communities in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, about 50 kilometres south of Jos, the state capital. About 100 deaths were confirmed by the police. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said its findings revealed at least 218 people were killed as at June 27. The police has not corroborated CAN’s figures. There are already widespread insinuations that herdsmen were responsible for the killings, and President Muhammadu Buhari has once again been called on to act decisively to end atrocities linked to herdsmen, which had seen over 1,500 killed beginning with the January 1 attacks on two local government areas in Benue.

The apex cattle breeders’ organisation, Miyetti Allah, has distanced itself from reports that it justified the recent killings of over 100 people in Plateau State. The group’s leader in the North-central, Danladi Ciroma, was reported as saying the killings were a retaliation of previous acts of deadly aggression against Fulani residents and pastoralists in the state. “These attacks are retaliatory. As much as I don’t support the killing of human being, the truth must be told that those who carried out the attacks must be on revenge mission,” Mr Ciroma was quoted as saying in a statement June 25. “Fulani herdsmen have lost about 300 cows in the last few weeks – 94 cows were rustled by armed Berom youths in Fan village, another 36 cows were killed by Berom youths. In addition to that, 174 cattle were rustled.” Mr Ciroma has now strongly protested the quotes credited to him in a follow-up conversation. “I told the reporter that leaders at the local and national levels should come together and resolve this crisis before it is too late,” Mr Ciroma said by telephone Wednesday night, protesting strongly the comments attributed to him.

The editor of the PREMIUM TIMES who passed around the’ fake news’ has since faced disciplinary action and has been fired from the newspaper. However, the invaded communities have since been renamed and taken over by the herdsmen.

Adapted from the Premium Times and the Vanguard

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