’We were chased out of our homes, our farms taken over by Fulani’
By Abel Daniel
Nasarawa State, the Home of Solid Mineral, has turned to be an enclave of Fulani insurgents, a state where innocent citizen is killed on daily basis with impunity. There is hardly one ethnic group which has not faced bloody hostilities from the Fulani insurgents in the state.
Unfortunately cries for succour seem to have fallen on deaf ears as the state and federal governments, who are supposed to provide security to her citizens, have failed to do so.
Communities such as Loco in Udeghe, Agbachi, Dadere, Tudun Adabu, Jenkwe, Arikya and Ashangwa, among others, have turned to ghost towns following Fulani attacks.
The insurgent have taken over the towns.
“The fear of the Fulani insurgents in Nasarawa is the beginning of wisdom. We have been chased out of our homes and our farms taken over by Fulani. We are left at the mercy of the Fulani people. There is no security in this country, it is only God that is our security in this state”, lamented Mr. Abene who claimed to have lost all his property and farms to the Fulani attackers.
Recently, Governor Suswan Gabriel of Benue State, during a stakeholders meeting that was chaired by Governor Tanko Umaru Almakura of Nasarawa state, alleged that Fulani insurgents were being hosted by some communities in Nasarawa from where they attack communities in Benue.
‘’We know that these Fulani fighters do not travel by air and it is also certain that they did not come through any community in Benue. If over 500 people move through any community and such community is claiming they are not aware of them, then there is no truth in them”, Suswan said.
A resident of one of the attacked villages said the insurgent always move in groups of 400 to 500 with some foreigners among them. A security personnel, who spoke to Sunday Vanguard said: “The class of weapons they carry is not comparable to our own. We see them in their camps but they will always tell us they did not come for us and we are not instructed to arrest; so we too just mind our business”.
Another villager said he ran into the camp of the insurgents noticed that some of them were wearing army uniform and carrying sophisticated guns.
The opposition party in Nasarawa, the PDP, has continued to insist that Fulani insurgents have been imported into the state by the ruling party, the APC, to reduce the number of the PDP supporters in the rural areas. When this allegation was raised it was assumed to be one of those political utterances made to blackmail the opponent.
The PDP, All Progressive Grand Alliance and the Labor Party have expressed the fear that the over 50 communities deserted in the southern senatorial zone of the state would be disenfranchised if INEC insists on carrying out the distribution of permanent voter cards now.
The parties spoke at a one day stake holders forum put together by the state INEC in Lafia, the state capital, when the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Usman Yakubu, read out the names of the communities deserted as a result of the Fulani attacks.
The meeting ended on a sad note because INEC insisted it would carry out the exercise but will include the internally displaced persons IDPs.
About a month ago, Almakura, while donating relief materials to IDPs at the city hall along Shendam Road, Lafia, asked the displaced persons from the villages to return to their homes as government will provide adequate security for them.
A week after, some Eggon returning from farm were murdered in cold blood by Fulani insurgents. The attack took place in Arikyia village in Lafia local government leaving 32 dead.
Reacting to the incident, the member representing the area (Nasarawa Eggon East constituency) in the state House of Assembly, Mohammed Muluku, who led journalists to the scene of the incident, called on the Federal Government to establish a permanent military base in the area to prevent further attacks on his constituents.
Nasarawa has become so insecure that insurgents could send a message to a community, stating the time and day of attack and still would not be stopped. This is why analysts allege government and security agencies collaboration with the Fulani to dislodge villagers.
The latest attack was on Alakyo village, a place believed to be the ancestral home of the Eggon war lord popularly known as BABA ALAKYO.
It was rumored that the Fulani would attack Alakyo many months before. It was said that the attackers killed Baba Alakyo. The news of the attack triggered fight in nearby Shabu, the headquarters of Lafia north development area, where the Gwandara people live.