A total of 40 persons of Irigwe ethnic nationality in Plateau state have been killed in attacks by Fulani herdsmen, a local leader says.
The attacks happend in the Bassa and Jos North local government areas of the state in the past four months.
The National President of Irigwe Development Association, Robert Dodo, disclosed this at a press conference in Jos on Tuesday.
Dodo also said 20 houses belonging to the natives and over 500 cultivated farmlands worth over ₦1 billion were destroyed during the period under review.
Giving a breakdown of the attacks and the names of victims, Dodo noted that the killings started at Dudun Maiyanga village with the murder of two people on February 2, 2021 by the herdsmen, who later escalated the attacks to 15 other villages, including Zirshe, Kishosho, Rikwe-Chongo, Ntireku, Nchenyu, Kamaru, Ribakwa, Dong, Rafiki, Nkienhie, Kpachudu, as well as Ncha.
According to him, in spite of the series of unabated attacks in Irigwe land, they had received no serious attention from those whose primary responsibility was to secure the lives and property of the people.
“We are pained and have been allowed to mourn and grieve on our own as if we don’t have those at the helm of affairs seeing and watching the Fulani nihilists unleash terror on our people.
“What is happening in Irigwe land is nothing short of genocide and ethnic cleansing orchestrated by the Fulani to wipe away the entire Irigwe tribe or if this seems unachievable, to depopulate their number with the aim of taking over their ancestral land.
“It is worthy of note that from the beginning of 2021 to date, over 40 Irigwe people have been killed by Fulani nihilists in Bassa and Jos North LGAs, over 20 houses razed, several farming implements and household items carted away, over 500 cultivated farmlands worth over N1bn destroyed, and many other unbearable losses.
“Houses that have been burnt down have not received any attention or compensation given to those whose farmlands were destroyed. There is no assessment carried out by the local, state and federal governments in an attempt to rebuild them.
“We are concerned because our people have been confined to internally displaced situation in a continuous brutal show of force by the Fulani militia against the Irigwe people and nobody has been arrested, investigated and prosecuted according to the law of the country even with the names of the Fulani nihilists suspected to be perpetrators of these callous and barbaric acts.
“We are worried because their continuous living without being apprehended is like encouraging criminality,” the National President lamented.
As a way of stopping further attacks on the people, Dodo called on the government to prevail on the Fulani herdsmen to suspend open grazing in their domain.