By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Armed men on Wednesday afternoon attacked and killed two internally displaced persons who were rebuilding their homes at Rantis, Gashish District, Barkin Ladi local government area of Plateau State.
Apart from killing the duo, three others were injured and a vehicle belonging to one of the deceased was razed.
It would be recalled that community effort at rebuilding and returning the IDPs has been ongoing and this incident would be a setback to the desire of the people to return to their ancestral homes.
Rwang Tengwong, the National Publicity Secretary of the Berom Youth Movement, BYM, who confirmed the incident in Jos, explained, “On Wednesday, 06/04/2022, gunmen suspected to be Fulani militias attacked Internally Displaced Persons at Rantis where they are rebuilding their homes, killing two persons. The gunmen numbering six came on three motorcycles and shot sporadically at the IDPs at about 3:40 pm when the IDPs have completed work for the day and were about to leave the site.
“As a result of the incident, two persons, Dalyop Boyi and Gyang Jugu were killed while three persons, Pastor Samson Boyi, Dahwol Jam, and Pam Boyi sustained gunshot injuries. A Volkswagon Vento belonging to one of the deceased, Dalyop Boyi was also burnt down by the attackers. It would be recalled that over 200 persons were killed, property worth millions of naira destroyed and over 17,000 people displaced in June 2018 when some communities in Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas were attacked.
“Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had visited the State to commiserate with the State Government and the survivors of the massacre and assured community leaders that N10 Billion would be released by the Federal Government through the State Government to bring relief to the people. He also said a permanent Mobile Police Squadron will be stationed in Gashish to improve the general security of the area. Since June 2018, the living conditions of the IDPs has continued to worsen and they are yet to receive or experience any of the Federal Government’s promise through any agency of the State.
“Their desire to return home made them embark on the rebuilding of their communities through self-help. This act is not only condemnable but the highest sense of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man. We have always had assurance from the government that peace has returned to the state, but what we see every day leaves us with questions as to if the Government is in touch with the plight of our people. For how long shall we continue to bury our own and helplessly watch our oppressors occupy our land without any form of justice from the people who are supposed to protect us?”
He added, “It is sad that whenever our communities are attacked, the perpetrators are regarded as unknown gunmen, yet, after these attacks, strangers settle in our land with no authority challenging that. This leaves us with the question of the place of justice in the search for peace.”