– Rural communities in Daffo district have accused Plateau state government of neglect
– The communities said no government official has visited since herdsmen attacks leading to loss of lives
– About 10 persons were confirmed killed by gunmen that invaded the rural settlements
Rural communities in Daffo District of Bokkos local government in Plateau, which were attacked by gunmen on Thursday and Friday, have accused the state government of abandoning them.
Their spokesman, Mr Emmanuel Macham, who briefed newsmen on Sunday in Bokkos, said that government had not shown any concern to the victims of the attacks.
“No government official, either from the state or local government, has shown any concern. No government official has visited any of the villages. This is sad,’ ’ Macham said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 10 persons were confirmed killed by gunmen that invaded the rural settlements.
NAN also reports that many others were injured while many villages, places of worship and schools were burnt down.
Our correspondent, who visited the area, reports that villages worst hit included Ganda, Morok, Hotom, Warem and Ngahkudung.
Also hit were Farundong Hai, Maidunna and Josho, where Sen. Joshua Dariye (APC/Plateau Central), took relief materials last week, following an earlier attack on the village in February.
Among the houses burnt at Ganda village was that of a former deputy governor of the state.
Major Umar Adams, spokesman of Operation Save Haven (OPSH), the security outfit in charge of security on the Plateau, while confirming the attacks on Friday, said that the casualty figure had not been ascertained.
“Yes, we are aware of the attacks, but we are yet to ascertain the number of casualties,’’ he had said.
He, however, confirmed that the situation only got worse when some youths mobilized themselves to confront the attackers, but added that normalcy had been restored, while five persons had been arrested in connection with the attacks.
He said that most of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), were taking refuge in some worship centres in Bokkos town, while some of those injured were being treated at Bokkos Cottage Hospital and Plateau Specialist Hospital in Jos.
But Macham, who took some newsmen round some of the affected villages on Sunday, expressed shock that government had not shown interest in the welfare of those displaced.
“Many people have fled their villages to Bokkos or Daffo. As we speak, some of them have been starving.
“Some people have also been trapped in their houses and are afraid to go out. We want government to assist us because the situation is just bad.
“Some people are still missing. We want the security agencies to help in our search for them,’’ he said.
He said that many IDPs were camped at some places of worship, while some were at the palace of the traditional ruler of Ron/Kulere chiefdom in Bokkos
Macham said that the attackers had looted money, livestock, and food items, especially Irish potatoes, yam and maize, belonging to the hit communities.
“From what we gathered from the villages, the attackers, after invading the communities and scaring away the villagers, brought cars into which they packed the looted items,’’ he said.
Mr Danjuma Mabas, the councillor representing Daffo District in the Bokkos Local Government Council, corroborated Macham’s claims in an interview with NAN.
He said that the IDPs, who were in three camps hosted by Churches, had not been assisted by government.
“The security situation is getting better, but people are starving.
“Those that are dead, are gone; we expected government to care for the living, but as we speak, neither the Plateau government nor the Bokkos Local Government has brought any relief item to the IDPs,’’ he said.
Mabas urged the state government to act swiftly to assist the IDPs, saying that their situation was “just pathetic’’.
Mr Simon Angyol, Chairman, Interim Management Committee of Bokkos Local Government, who also spoke on the attack, said that managing the IDPs was very difficult for the local government.
He said that thousands had been rendered homeless and called on the federal and Plateau governments to come to the aid of the victims who were mostly women and children.
But Mr Yakubu Dati, the Plateau state Commissioner for Information, has rejected suggestions that the state government was not concerned about the plight of the victims of the attacks.
“It is not right to say that government is not worried about those attacked. Gov Simon Lalong has commiserated with those affected by the attacks in Bokkos. He personally delivered his condolence on NTA news yesterday (Saturday).
“The governor has also assured the people that appropriate steps were being taken to address the situation, while security agencies have been ordered to restore normalcy to the area.
“He has also directed that everything must be done to fish out the attackers and bring them to justice,’’ he said.