Plateau communities cry out as Fulani turn farms to grazing land
The wicked devastation caused to the farms
By Raymond Gukas, Jos
Residents of Sopp Community of Bachit District, Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State have suffered severe losses in the hands of suspected Fulani militias who stormed their farms and cut down crops that could have been due for harvest by September.
This development has heightened fears in the people who are now contemplating abandoning their farms for fear of subsequent attacks, if help from the relevant authorities don’t reach them on time.
A visit by Apex News Exclusive to the affected farms found out that four of the cultivated lands of maize, guinea corn, sweet potatoes were mowed down by marauding herdsmen who went over night and perpetrated the dastardly act.
The damage done to the farms
According to Dalyop Solomon Mwantiri, of the Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria, (ECCVN), the development has “invariably plunged economic hardship on the affected native victims ”
The victims of the attack are Pastor Zakka Dalyop his wife and five children, Sunday Coma with wife and five children, Clement Pam his wife and three children, Labi Danjuma, his wife and two children as well as Dadongs Moses Coma his wife and five children.
In reaction to the said mischief, Mr. Dadongs Moses Goma, for himself and on behalf of the affected persons lamented that, “after armed invasions meted out on us in 2014 as a result of which many of our people were killed and villages sacked, we have again started witnessing another dimension of the battle, which is economic warfare targeted at farmed crops about to get ripe for harvest hopefully by the end of August.
But the crops have now been mowed down by suspected Fulani herdsmen who possibly migrated from Bauchi State….” adding that, “these are the few nearby farmlands accessible for cultivation.”
So far, he regretted that most lands have been forcefully taken over by way of armed invasions and threats thereby depriving natives rights thereto, as it was also gathered that sometimes in May/June, 2020, a group of Fulani aggressively stormed and drove away natives of Sopp from cultivating ancestral lands with claim that the said lands have been forcefully taken over by the them.
This has always been the claims of the marauders that land belongs to God and must be freely used by them and not owned by natives as an inheritance. Thus, they (Fulani) have inalienable right to freely use any land of their choice without protest, Solomon Mwantiri lamented.
As a result of this dispositions, “ECCVN calls on all relevant authorities, Civil Society Organizations-CSOs and other critical stakeholders to, as a matter of urgency, rise up to the occasion of land grabs and mischievous activities of Fulani herdsmen which are two sides of the same coin that are intractable to looming economic backwardness and unprecedented hunger lingering on native communities of Plateau State.
“We appealed that a food intervention packages be made as humanitarian outreach to all crisis victims, especially those affected by recent destruction of farmed crops pervasively carried out by agents of mischief in the recent time. This will greatly cushion an impending economic asperity caused on the helpless victims”, he stressed.
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