The Chairman of MACBAN (North Central Zone), Danladi Ciroma, has described the Plateau killings as retaliatory.
He said, “These attacks are retaliatory. As much as I don’t support the killing of human beings, the truth must be told that those who carried out the attacks must be on a revenge mission.
“There have been recent reports of cow rustling and destruction of farms between Berom farmers and Fulani herdsmen. The people carrying out these criminal activities are well known to the communities but the communities are hiding them.
“Fulani herdsmen have lost about 300 cows in the last few weeks – 94 cows were rustled by armed Berom youths in Fan village, another 36 cows were killed by Berom youths. In addition to that, 174 cattle were rustled and the criminals disappeared with them to Mangu.
“Since these cows were not found, no one should expect peace in the areas. Even soldiers that went after the criminals to recover the rustled cows were shot by the armed rustlers and eventually escaped with all the cows.
“The government of Governor Lalong has done a lot to restore peace, but the criminal elements hiding among their people are the ones frustrating these peace efforts.
“Though the security agencies have tried, they need to do more by being fair to all parties; they should not neglect any report presented by Fulani of Berom because such report can lead to attacks and deaths if not properly handled.
“Criminals thrive a lot in Berom communities, but when the Fulani, who are always victims of their crime, react with attacks, they blame the government.
“These communities have leaders, why hide the criminals? They should fish out the criminals and hand them over to security agencies to avoid death of innocent ones.
“As it is today, the Berom man cannot go to farm, the Fulani cannot breed his cows in Berom land. This can be stopped if the security agencies do more than what they are currently doing. The attacks will stop as soon as the security agencies stop Berom youths from stealing Fulani cows.”
Berom people killed our people, stole their cows – Miyetti president
Speaking in the same vein, the National President of MACBAN, Muhammadu Kiruwa, on Monday condemned reprisal in any form but alleged that Berom youths had recently killed five cattle merchants, stole their cows, about N1m and set their vehicles ablaze.
According to him, the genesis of the crisis has been rampant attacks and rustling of their cows by Berom youths in Barkin Ladi LGA.
Kiruwa made this allegation in an interview with The PUNCH.
He said, “The people have been stealing our cows and some of our people who were coming from market were attacked. Five of them were killed, they stole over N1m and up till now, the whereabouts of their corpses have not been known. Let the security agencies go and find out facts about this. That is the genesis of the crisis; every day, they kill one, kill two. Now, they will go and attack again and say it is Fulani people.
“Reprisal is not good. Let the government and security agencies caution both parties and enter into dialogue. I don’t know who carried out the attack on Barkin Ladi and other areas. But I know that Berom people have attacked my people in town, while coming back from cattle market.
“The situation (in Plateau State) is not good; we are not happy about what is going on because the lives of people are being endangered, not only Fulani or farmers, the lives of all Nigerians are in danger. We are not happy, we are calling on the security agencies and government to checkmate all these problems.