Plateau Christmas Eve massacre: 20,000 people evacuated - coalition sounds alarm

Plateau Christmas Eve massacre: 20,000 people evacuated – coalition sounds alarm

The recent Christmas Eve attacks on some communities in Plateau State claimed the lives and livelihoods of scores of people, and the Plateau State Indigenous Youth/Ethnic Federation revealed that 19,995 people were displaced.

The coalition is also calling for a public investigation of the Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) Sector 5 Commander in Boccos LGA, Lieutenant Colonel TT Pavé, and his subordinates for their alleged involvement in the attack. According to the coalition, conducting the aforementioned survey will restore the public's confidence in OPSH's ability to maintain peace in the state.

This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of an emergency meeting of the coalition held in Mangu LGA regarding the recent killings and deteriorating insecurity in the state.

The communiqué, signed by Chairman Paul J. Dekete and Secretary Dwam Bosco, was read out to reporters in Jos, the state capital.

The communiqué states, “The coalition is observing with deep concern the actions of military personnel on the plateau, based on their actions and responses during the disaster.''

“Young people have lost trust and confidence in the personnel, especially in the personnel of Sector 5 in Boccos LGA. Witnesses from the local community claimed that the military operation was to protect what they claimed to be a minority group.

According to the coalition, “Witnesses in the affected areas also claim that men under the command of Lt. Col. TT Pave are arresting and killing locals, in line with the late Samuel Samuel. As in the case of Mr Longren, he is said to have been confronted by his men and fired upon at will. Fulanis who are arrested are released within the shortest possible time, especially in Bokkos Local Government Area. He is in command at Gala Kawel in the Musher district.”

“We call for a public investigation and possible discipline against him in order to serve as a deterrent and restore confidence in military operations within the country,” the group claimed.

“The attention of the coalition has been drawn to the severe sexual abuse of residents of Bochos Local Government Area by personnel sent to restore peace in the area after the massacre. Such personnel should be called to order. “, the coalition recommended.

The cCoalition also raised concerns about the destruction of farms and homes of victims/displaced persons. “We have also observed that there are deliberate attempts by Fulani militias to prevent victims from returning to their ancestral lands and homes by looting property and food supplies. We call on the government to take the necessary measures to stop the looting of the property of victims and displaced persons.”

According to the group, “According to statistics so far, more than 200 local residents have been killed in Boccos alone, more than 300 houses and 1,290 cars have been burned, and 19,995 people have been evacuated. They have taken refuge in a mini-stadium in the city, and have fled to relatives in other parts of the state and country.”

“While displaced persons from various villages have taken refuge in Bokkos town, information available to the coalition indicates that some armed Fulanis are being held in Marin (Angwan Hausawa). We call on security authorities to search for and disarm them to avoid future attacks and the killing of innocent civilians.”

The coalition is also calling for the establishment of a North Central Development Commission to help alleviate the suffering of attack victims in the region.

“In view of the wanton destruction of lives and properties in Plateau State and the entire North-Central region, we, under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, call for the establishment of a commission to address millions of people. We call on the Federal Government to determine the number of people who are displaced and live as internally displaced persons, camping on their ancestral lands, as is the case in the northeast of the country.”

“The establishment of the commission will allow the people to have confidence in this government and aim for rapid development and restoration of normal conditions,” the group said.

The coalition also pays tribute to the brave role of the 4th Sector Commander, Colonel US Abdulsalam, for his quick response to avert the escalation of the incursion that hit parts of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area.


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