FG, STF, others sanctioned over arrest, detention of Plateau villager

Nigerian authorities have been fined N5,000,000.00 ($13,500USD) for assaulting, torturing and illegally detaining a villager in Plateau State.

Mr. Dalyop Bulus was arrested on 12th November 2017 at Tyana, Ra-hoss village, in Riyom Local Government Area, by military Task Force personnel allegedly possessing a missing person’s cellphone.

He was “detained and tortured” along with his elder brother, Benjamin Bulus at the Department of State Security, Jos.

Bulus was later charged but acquitted by a Jos Federal High Court for want of “diligent prosecution” but Gyang remained in custody.

He sued the Federal Government in a suit No. PLD/J154M2/19 after over 16 months in custody.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Chief of Defence Staff, State Security Service, and the Special Task Force, Operation Safe Haven, Jos are also respondents.

Judgment on the case was delivered on 2nd August, 2019 in favor of the applicant.

The presiding Judge, Justice S. P. Gang held that the action of the Respondents contravanes the Provisions of Section 35 (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended) which provide that any person who is arrested or detained in accordance with subsection (1) shall be brought before a Court of Law within a reasonable time.

The Judge declared the prolonged arrest, assault, torture, and detention of the Applicant “illegal, unlawful, and unconstitutional.”

He therefore ordered his ‘immediate’ release with a public apology, in addition to the N5, 000,000.00 “general damages/compensation”.

He further issued an order restraining the respondents, their agents, privies, and representatives from further arresting, and detaining the applicant “for no just cause”.

None of the orders has however been complied with to this moment.

The Applicant’s Council, Gyang Zi hopes to explore all available options to ensure the enforcement of the judgment.

Plateau Governor, Simon Lalong seeks upgrade of Local Governments

Jos, Nigeria: Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State says for there to be progress in governance, manpower development in information and communication technology is “very important”.

This however cannot be achieved without the collaboration of all government units, Local Governments in particular, Lalong said, Monday.

The upgrade of the third tier of government to be more ‘efficient’ is crucial for discipline and transparency in managing state resources, said the Governor in Jos, at the third Federal Government – Progressive Governors Forum Parley on Policy Synergy.

In Plateau State, Lalong said there has been “growing synergy” among all government organs in executing his administration’s “three-point policy thrust of peace, security and good governance; infrastructural development; and sustainable economic rebirth.”

The APC administration at the National, State and Local Government levels according to him has also ‘tremendously’ reshaped the local economy, rebuilt infrastructure, created jobs and improved security but there is still more to do.

Lalong who is the Chairman of Northern Nigerian Governors Forum particularly called for synergy with Local Governments in security management.

“We need to come up with practical and effective ways on how we can tackle insecurity manifesting in insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, farmer-herder clashes, ethno-religious crises and other violent conflicts.

“We must resolve how best to work with the Federal Government and indeed the Local Government system to ensure the protection of lives and property of our citizens,” he said.

Responding to this campaign, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha said not working with LGs could cause policy summersault for States and the Federal Government.

“Policies formulated at the top level of governance will not be cascaded to the local people,” he said.

Plateau plans 'Investor-targeted' Economic Summit

Officials at the 3rd FG-PGF parley in Jos, Monday

Jos, Nigeria: Central Nigeria's Plateau State will soon host an international economic summit to market its business potentials, Officials say.

The summit aims to "open up Plateau State to domestic and foreign
investors and rebranding our State to what it truly is –The Home of Peace and
Tourism," the State Governor, Simon Lalong said, Monday at the 3rd Federal Government - Progressive Governors Forum parley in Jos.

The plan according to Lalong is part of the State's 5- Year Strategic Development Plan
which guides its "Next Level Vision".

"We are prioritizing various
projects in education, health, agriculture, mining and tourism which we believe
can turn around the economic fortunes of our State," the Governor said.

The State, Lalong said has enjoyed "growing synergy" among all
stakeholders including the three arms of government as it continues its "Rescue
Mission" through a "3-point policy thrust of peace, security and good
governance; infrastructural development and sustainable economic rebirth."

No apologies for border closure – Adams Oshiomole

Guests at the 3rd FG-PGF parley in Jos

Jos Nigeria: National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Osheomole says Nigeria has no regrets for closing its borders to imports.

The policy has revived local industries, thus improving national revenue, Osheomole said, Monday in Jos, the capital of Plateau State.

Weak local and foreign economic policies in the past turned Nigeria into a “dumping ground” for unwanted products, Osheomole said.

In his words, “We are not repentant of the closure of our borders until neighboring states realize that Nigeria is not dumping ground for smuggled goods.

“Whatever we have to do to get Nigerians patronise local goods should not be regretted.”

Jos: Light Bearer newspaper Reporter dies in fatal accident

One of Anna's last Facebook posts before passing

Jos, Nigeria: A Journalist in Plateau State, Mrs. Anna Moses on Saturday died in a fatal accident along Bokkos – Barkin Ladi road.

Mrs. Moses died within instantly when a car she was traveling on run into a lane-trespassing truck.

She was on the car with her husband and four children, it was learnt.

Her mother, sister and niece were equally onboard when the SUV car crashed.

Her 1year-old daughter whom she carried on her laps survived with mere bruises while others sustained varying degrees of injuries.

One of Anna’s surviving children on sick bed

They were returning from a family wedding in Nghasii village, 10km west of the Plateau State University, Bokkos when the tragedy occurred.

The reporter of Light Bearer newspaper Jos reporter was a humorous character during the ceremonial unveiling of the wedding cake, MK gathers.

Moses was unusually active and cheerful during the week before taking a day off the office on Thursday to bake the wedding cake on Friday, work colleagues say.

Plateau: Harsh Government policies killing agriculture, Bokkos community cries

Barr. Atom, (R) and community leaders in Monguna District

Farmers in Central Nigeria’s Bokkos Local Government Area say government policies are gradually crashing their businesses.

Many of them cut production this year due to high cost of fertilizer and other farm inputs, a community leader in Gwande village, Baba Abanga said, Friday.

Speaking during a village tour by the Peoples Democratic Party leaders of Manguna-Gwande-Karfa Ward, the community leader accused the APC led government of failing to improve rural life as promised during election campaigns.

The tour aimed to appreciate the villagers for supporting the PDP during the February/March 2019 General elections despite losing out, the team leader, Barr. Monday Agom said.

It is the second by the opposition party, since the controversial elections, meant to encourage political participation in the local communities, MK gathers.

No other political party has visited the communities since the PDP lost power to the APC in 2015, it was gathered.

The ruling All Progressives Congress Party according to locals had pledged to construct rural roads and offer jobs to their youths but has not revisited since the election campaigns.

Plateau: B/Ladi vows adequate security for home returning IDPs

Mr. Ezekiel Mandyau, Barkin Ladi LG Chairman at St. John Vianney Seminary IDP Camp, Barkin Ladi

JOS, NIGERIA: Internally displaced persons in Central Nigeria’s Plateau State might no longer face security threats when back home.

Officials in the State, Friday vowed to provide “adequate” protection for the IDPs in their original communities should they return.

Management Committee Chairman of Barkin Ladi Local Government Council, Ezekiel Mandyau said while touring camps containing IDPs from the LGA, that security and civil authorities were in ‘serious’ talks to revive socioeconomic life in communities displaced by violent attacks last year.

This according to him is expected to be achieved before Christmas this year.

The lack of quality healthcare, food and schools enumerated by the IDPs during the tour, Mandyau said will be resolved to aid life in the communities.

Special Task Force Commander, Sector 4, Col. E.O. Ojo equally assured of prompt deployments to the affected villages once assured of the IDPs’ return.

“The problem we had in the past is, people went back but returned to camps and we cannot station men in empty communities.

“Once we are sure of your return, we will deploy our men immediately to guard your homes,” he said at the School of Geosciences, Jos IDP camp.

The Geosciences school was one of five IDP camps visited by the Barkin Ladi Chairman on Friday.

Others visited were COCIN LCC Rawuru, Dorowa Tsoho, RCC Fan and Mai Idon Tarau all in Barkin Ladi LGA.

The LG Chairman had on Thursday visited IDPs in COCIN RCC Bokkos in Bokkos LGA, Gana Ropp, St. John Vianney Minor Seminary and COCIN LCC Kworos all in Barkin Ladi LGA.

Also visited on Thursday were IDPs in COCIN LCC Gassa, COCIN RCC Heipang and COCIN LCC Ban.

Mandyau, had two weeks ago toured villages affected by last year’s herdsmen attacks in the LGA.

“The people’s tour,” Mandyau said was preparatory to the full return of internally displaced persons to their original homes.

The Chairman held talks with community stakeholders on their major needs.

He also distributed forms for the communities to identify their peculiar needs for consideration during development project planning.

The tour to IDP camps, Mandyau said was necessary to hear first-hand the plights of the attack victims for proper decision making.

Plateau: IDP food supply cut worries Barkin Ladi Council

Some IDPs at COCIN LCC Kworos, Barkin Ladi

Central Nigeria: Management Committee Chairman of Barkin Ladi Local Government Council, Barr. Ezekiel Mandyau, Thursday said over 12,000 internally displaced persons from his domain still face “disturbing humanitarian crisis”.

The IDPs still living in 12 camps are mainly the extreme poor who could not afford private accommodation elsewhere, Mandyau told journalists.

The remnants of the over 30,000 people displaced during the June 2018 killings in Plateau, the LG Chair said deserve federal attention as those in the northeast.

“Many of these IDPs cannot afford regular meals, healthcare or education for their children,” the Chairman tearfully said.

This in his words is further compounded by sudden cuts in humanitarian supply.

“Many of the organizations and individuals earlier supplying food and other essentials have gotten tired and have stopped, leaving the IDPs hopeless,” he said.

The State Government according to him is working hard to return all displaced persons to their original homes but needs support to temporarily cater for their welfare.

He said, “We really appreciate those who have rendered support to these IDPs in one way or the other.

“We will write them all to appreciate them for having carried out our responsibility as a government.

“However, the needs are still there and we want to plead that whatever can be done should be done to see that these poor ones live comfortably.”

Ezekiel Mandyau during IDP camp tour

Mandyau had toured all attacked communities two weeks ago.

He started a tour of IDP camps yesterday to identify their most pressing needs.

The camps visited yesterday were in COCIN RCC Bokkos, Gana Ropp, St. John Vianney Minor Seminary and COCIN LCC Kworos.

Others are COCIN LCC Gassa, COCIN RCC Heipang and COCIN Ban.

In all the camps visited, the main cries of the IDPs was their home return.

Food and healthcare were equally stressed as crucial needs in all the camps.

The Chairman presented cash donations as welfare support to the IDPs in each of the camps, pledging to mobilize more.

He is expected to round off the tour today with IDP camps in COCIN Rahurung, Dorowa Tsoho, COCIN RCC Fan, Mai idon tarau and School of Geosciences Anguldi, Jos South.

COCIN rejects new federal marriage certificates

COCIN President, Rev. Dr. Datiri

JOS, NIGERIA: The Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) says Federal marriage certificate fees newly introduced by the Nigerian government are extortionate.

Permanent Secretary of the country’s Interior Ministry, Georgina Ehuriah last two weeks announced a compulsory N30,000 ($83.00USD) charge to license worship centers for the conduct of statutory marriages and N21,000 ($58USD) for each marriage certificate.

“This is outright robbery,” said the President of COCIN, Rev. Dr. Dachollom Datiri on Tuesday.

Government according to him should support citizens and organizations concerned with their physical and moral wellbeing and not place unnecessary demands on them.

“The Church will fight this,” he said while hosting the editorial team of Light Bearer newspaper on a courtesy call in Jos.

Editor of the outfit, Mrs. Elizabeth Salami had told the Church leader that silence on the matter could imply endorsement.

Local Governments according to her had taken legal actions against the government but the Church is the main ‘target’ of the policy.

“The conditions for the certification of worship centres demand interior photographs of structures to be registered but we all know that only Churches conduct marriages indoors.

“If 1000 COCIN Churches are to register after two years with N30,000, the Church would lose N30million. If 1000 of its members wed in a month, the FG would be making a monthly revenue of N21million from them. This is a call for action by the Church given the increasing displacements and economic stress hitting communities,” said Salami.

After touring attacked villages, B/Ladi Chair meets all DPs in Plateau

Barr. Ezekiel Mandyau, Barkin Ladi Chair

CENTRAL NIGERIA: Newly appointed Barkin Ladi Local Government Chairman, Ezekiel Mandyau, will today start a two-day tour of Internally Displaced Persons camps in Plateau State.

Mandyau had toured communities affected by herdsmen attacks two weeks ago, in preparing for the return of the IDPs.

Mr. Daju Jah, the LGC’s Principal Assistant Information Officer in a statement lists IDP camps to be visited Thursday as COCIN RCC Bokkos, 9:30 – 10:30am, Gana Ropp 11:00am – 12:00 noon, St. John veinney Minor Seminary 12:30pm – 1:30pm, COCIN LCC Kworos 2:00pm – 3:00pm, LCC Gassa 3-30pm – 4:30pm, RCC Heipang 5:00pm – 6:00pm and COCIN Ban 6:00pm.

On Friday, the Chairman will visit IDPs in Rahurung 9:30am – 10:30 am, Dorowa Tsoho 11:00am – 12:00 noon, RCC Fan 12:30 – 1:30pm, Mai idon tarau 2:00pm – 3:00pm and GEO Sciences 3:30pm – 4:30pm.

Again, two shot in former Senator Mantu's hometown

CENTRAL NIGERIA: Yet to be identified gunmen have shot two people including an infant near the Plateau State Divisional Police Headquarters, Mangu in Mangu Local Government Area.

Though details of the incident have yet to be obtained, the shooting, MK gathers occurred in the evening of Tuesday and lasted few minutes.

The infant whose name is yet to be verified is said to have survived with bullet wounds.

The other casualty, identified as Alh. Sa’adu Musa Julde reportedly died at the spot.

The Plateau State Secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Alh. Abdullahi Ardo confirms the deceased was the association’s Mangu Chapter Chairman.

Mr. Julde was a resident of Kasuwar Ali village in Gindiri, near the Plateau State College of Education Gindiri.

A PDP Chieftain and brother to former Senator Nasir Mantu, Hashimu Mantu was shot dead three days ago in the same locality.

It is not yet confirmed who the killers are and what their mission is.

A Police statement confirming the murder of the former Senator’s brother on Monday said no arrest was made but investigations were on to track the criminals.

Body of the slain Miyetti Allah leader is expected to be buried Wednesday morning after burial rites at the Mamgu Central Mosque.

Ex Senate boss' brother killed in Plateau

Police have confirmed the murder of Mr. Hashimu Mantu, brother to former Deputy Senate President, Nasiru Mantu in Plateau.

Mantu, a Chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party and village Chief in Gindiri was on Saturday found ‘motionless’ in his hometown, Chanso, Gindiri in Mangu Local Government Area and confirmed in hospital to be dead, Police say.

Laying close to his body when found was his “mobile phone and a stick”, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Tyopev Terna said Monday in a press statement.

The Plateau Police Public Relations Officer did not state the cause of death in detail but locals say Mantu was dragged out of his house at night by hoodlums and killed in a nearby bush.

“The gunmen stormed his residence in Chanso Town, Gindiri, Mangu LGA, and forcefully took him out to the bush rained a hell of bullets before slaughtering him,” a source said.

Photographs of the corpse being circulated on social media show deep machete cuts on his head and other parts of the body.

The Police statement states no arrest has been made but pleads for useful Intel from locals to help track the ‘criminals.’

Aged Plateau couple holds white wedding 50yrs after traditional marriage

Mr. and Mrs. Mafai on their wedding day

JOS, PLATEAU STATE: A couple in Central Nigeria, Wednesday threw colorful fanfare in a rare 50years belated wedding celebration.

Mr. Mafai Mabas, 78 and his 68years-old wife, Udor joyfully walked down the isle in Mai Hakorin Gold village, 1km north of Plateau State University, Bokkos in an enviable celebration of love.

The two have been married since 1972 but without any formality.

They have had five children between ages 48 and 26, all married with kids.

Couple with daughters

Although they have never had any major problems living together as a couple, the two decided to formalize their marriage to right their walk with God, a family relation told MK.

The wedding officiated by Rev. Samson Adalu of Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) Gold, drew guests from all works of life.

NECO sacks 70 staff with fake certificates

From Mathew Jwantu, Minna

Nigeria’s National Examinations Council (NECO) dismissed 70 staff from over alleged certificate forgery.

A statement signed by head of information Unit of the Council, Azeez Sani, says the decision was sequel to a report by a verification Committee.

Some affected staff had confessed to the committee that their certificates were fake, the statement says.

The Committee according to him also contacted Schools and Institutions the affected staff claimed to have attended and they denied having certificated them.

The exam body is poised to fight corruption, hence the sack of the staff as recommended by the committee, he said.

“The Council under the able leadership of the Acting Registrar/Chief Executive, Mr. Abubakar Gana has zero tolerance for corruption and is poised to sanitise the system as espoused by President Muhammadu Buhari led administration,” Sani stated.

The statement concludes that the dismissal of the 70 is the first phase in the on-going staff certificate verification exercise by the institution.

Four-time Governor, Jonah Jang, ‘father’ in Nigerian politics – Senator

L-R: Sen. ID Gyang, Sen. Jonah Jang, Mr. Francis Bot

Former Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang remains Nigeria’s most influential politician, serving Senator Istifanus Gyang says.

Jang, having been military administrator and civilian Governor twice has enjoyed “Divine opportunity above any other” politician, Gyang told journalists on Saturday.

With that, Jang “paid his dues,” becoming a respected “leader and elder statesman,” said Gyang who represents Plateau North in the Nigerian Senate.

“He’s a father and leader, a mentor and one that has paid his dues as far as this nation is concerned.

“He’s an elder statesman, one that God gave the opportunity above any other to govern more than four states in this country and serve at the senate.

“He’s one that has demonstrated strong passion for this nation and is interested in the upcoming generations,” the Senator said.

To have such a person as ‘father’ therefore, Gyang said is both a privilege and a blessing.

Senator ID Gyang: “Church leads Community Development in Nigeria”

Senator ID Gyang

Nigerian Parliamentarian, Istifanus Gyang says Churches are lead community development agents in the country.

Aside from character development, Churches according to Gyang provide basic social amenities that aid life and ease government’s burdens infrastructural burdens.

In his words, “The church has been pivotal to nation building particularly in the education and health sectors.

“The church has built schools from primary to tertiary institutions. If you look at the health sector, the Church has built hospitals and is offering healthcare to people.”

Gyang at the ordination of new Pastors by the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) in Fan-loh village, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area believes more Pastors means more development for communities.

The Senator representing Plateau North in the Nigerian National Assembly said, “Their work is not just going to remain on the pulpit but also in developmental efforts.

“They would mobilize communities to address issues that are of self-help in nature and are able to address basic issues like portable water, nursery and primary and secondary schools at that level so they are coming into critical assignments not just in the Church but at the national level.”

Plateau: Three "killed in STF custody", donated to hospital for practicals

Three young men, ‘detained’ in April by Central Nigerian authorities have been found in mortuary six months later.

Special Task Force officials on April 20, 2019 allegedly arrested 17 vigilante members in Kwi village, 10kms southeast of Jos International Airport, Plateau State, killing Mr. Elisha Yakubu, Bot Bulus and Joshua Dung in custody.

The community had made distress calls to the Task Force following a deadly ambush by suspected herdsmen, it was learnt.

The securities reportedly arrived several minutes late, shooting and arresting indiscriminately.

“Without a question, they started shooting at us,” eyewitness, Madaki Shedrach Danjuma told journalists on Wednesday.

Seeing three of their colleagues gunned down, the locals surrendered and were taken into custody, leaving behind the corpse of their tribesman killed by the initial ambushers.

“They took us to their Sector 9 base before moving us to the STF Headquarters in Jos and called us robbers,” Danjuma said.

The 14, kept in a separate cell from the wounded three were tortured for months, another detainee, Samuel Dung said.

“The first day, they tortured us for more than five hours, beating us mercilessly and pouring water on us,” Dung narrated.

Family relations, lawyers and community stakeholders were denied access to the detainees until they were transferred to Police custody several months later, it was gathered.

The other three, thought to have died in custody were donated to a local hospital for anatomy experiments, says a human rights lawyer, Barr. Solomon Dalyop.

“We wrote several letters and petitions before the 14 were released in August. The Task Force denied knowledge of their whereabouts but after thorough and vigorous search, we learnt their corpses were donated to Bingham University Teaching Hospital for research,” he said.

The Director, Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria said the community would seek legal redress on the matter.

In his words, the ECCVN boss said, “They killed our youths for responding to a situation that they couldn’t respond to and never responded to our letters demanding their whereabouts.

“It is a concealment of act of extrajudicial killing which is never within the contemplation of the Nigerian laws and we will be left with no option than to seek legal redress.”
The murder however does not just have legal but social and economic implications.

“The killing of our youths by people who are supposed to guard us shows that our children have no hope for the future,” says Dr. Dauda Gyemang, former Rector of the Plateau State Polytechnic.

A former Plateau State Commissioner of Finance, Hon. Davou Mang said the persistent conflicts and culpability of the security have caused fear to work and earn, thus increasing hardship for the locals.

Wife of one of the slain youths, Mrs. Martha Elisha pleaded for government to help her feed her six orphaned children.

As of publishing time, inquiries sent to Police and STF officials had yet to be replied.

Efforts to reach the Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos also proved abortive.

'Monarch' allegedly kills 247 in Plateau, Taraba in four years

At least 247 people have been killed in Plateau and Taraba States in four years by a ‘self-acclaimed’ traditional ruler, reports say.

Mr. Shehu Jatau, the Ponzhi (Tarok name for King) of Plateau bordering Kurmi village in Ibi Local Government Area of Taraba State, allegedly runs a criminal syndicate that terrorized communities in the two States since 2016, leading to widespread displacements.

His victims, mostly people who opposed his ‘draconian’ laws were tortured, shot or hacked to death by his gang, sources say.

Between March 2018 and October 2019 alone, the group is thought to have killed at least 17.

It allegedly killed among others, two natives of Yal village in Kadarko District – Mr. Ishaya Adamu Chirpyen on March 3, 2018 and Mr. Nanmen Zhantur Nimmak on March 26, 2018.
It later hung one Mr. Mbani to death on May 15, 2019, it was alleged.

Same day, 20 others were reportedly burnt to death by the same team. A survivor of the mayhem identified as Mr. Sonan Nimyel was said to have been tortured and left for dead.

Shortly later on July 12, 2019, the militia murdered at least 10 people in Jawuri village, it is said.

The victims were identified Mr. Nanvem Ramnap and his son, Nanlir, Mr. Kapbin Ndam, Mr. Langnim Dilla and Nansoh Fallang. Others are Dul Ndam, Haruna Ade, Sallah Maikarfi and Danladi Sani.

On August 29, 2019 a husband and wife – Mr. and Mrs. Rimfa Gonto were supposedly murdered in Wurmat village. The following month, the village Chief of Taknalam (Langtong) was killed along with one Mr. Bamnap Gabong on September 14, 2019, also believed to be by the same group.

14 unnamed others had been allegedly killed between 5th and 13th September, 2019.

The killings climaxed with the murder of one Mr. Ladam Guktur on October 19, 2019 before the “notorious militia gang leader” was arrested by the Nigerian Army in Abuja on November 2, 2019.

The Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, told journalists after the arrest that Jatau and his gang were “very active in the unfortunate Plateau crisis that caused the lives of citizens and destruction of properties worth billions of naira.”

After authorities successfully suppressed the violence, “the criminal gang resorted to kidnapping, extortion and unleashing unprecedented carnage on innocent residents,” the army spokesman said.
According to local sources, Mr. Jatau’s gang demanded a ransom of at least N50,000 from displaced residents to resettle in their homes and harvest their farm crops.

He was arrested along with others after a peace meeting organized by the Plateau State government at the Plateau State Liaison office in Abuja on October 30, 2019 in his hotel room.

A machine gun was reportedly found in his possession.

The arrest was however opposed by the national body of the Tarok community association, Ngwang Ishi O’Tarok (NIO) as an attempt to ruin the reputation of the local chief.

The NIO in an undated press release signed by its President, Mr. David Dashe claimed the arrest was already generating tension in the affected community.

Its Wase chapter however insists the arrest has restored peace in its communities.

A statement signed by its Chairman, Hon. Longka Zinkat and Secretary, Sunday Miri on November 11, 2019 recommended similar measures in other communities facing same conflicts.

Plateau Prince's wife, 10 others raped in ex Governor's village

Troubled IDPs in Plateau State - descriptive image

CENTRAL NIGERIA: At least 11 women and girls have been raped this year in Mushere District, the native village of former Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye.

The assaults usually in broad daylight along lonely paths are said to have been carried out by familiar Fulani herdsmen.

MK gathers that the assaults started first week of March 2019 with a knife attack on a Prince's wife in Kaban village.

Halima Ishaku (real name withheld) was brutally injured and raped while gathering firewood to sell and pay her daughter's school fee.

The incident was loosely handled and dismissed by local Police authorities, it was learnt.

Later on March 17, a 15year old girl was robed of her money and cellphone on her way to school in Panka village.

Another 15year-old schoolgirl was raped toward the end of the month in Kwapnung village, findings reveal.

The following month, two girls were reportedly raped in Jemut village by a gang of armed herders.

A declaration of a "state of emergency" on armed robbery, kidnapping and rape by the Chairman of Bokkos Local Government, Yusuf Machen in May, and the subsequent arrest of eight suspected robbers in June somewhat birthed a break in the assaults.

In September, two fresh cases were reported in  Koghomdet and Ikghingwaghap villages within a week.

October the following month witnessed a disturbing rape of four girls on their way from school.

The girls including two siblings were waylaid along a long feeder road in Horop-Kadim at about 3pm on October 18, 2019.

Two of them aged 15 and 16 were bedridden for days due to severe genital injuries from the assault.

All four are final year students of Government Secondary School Ikghwaghap, located 15kms south of Plateau State University, Bokkos.

Their assaulters, a gang of four, armed with deadly sticks and knives reportedly threatened to give them and their families "no peace" should they report the incident.

The case was however reported and the suspects were arrested.

The suspects identified as Rayyanu Mohammed, Hamisu Mohammed, Mustapha Yunusa and Abbas Salisu have confessed to the crime.

All four currently in detention at the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department of the Nigerian Police Force Headquarters Jos, Plateau State are expected to be arraigned in a month.

Plateau Attacks: Displaced Christian Orphan funds 14 Muslim kids in school

A Central Nigerian youth displaced by herdsmen attacks has enrolled three Muslim children in school.

Mr. Simon David, a Plateau native of Palang village in Riyom Local Government Area, Plateau State, in the last 12 months paid tuition fees for 11 other children in primary and secondary schools, in Adamawa State.

Orphaned at childhood, David lost his house, family and friends in the June 2018 Plateau attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

However, his passion for child development could not let him turn a blind eye to the educational needs of the poor children in the Fulani dominated State.

“I want to solve one of the world’s greatest challenges – girl child education, he told MK.

His primary inspiration according to him came from Pakistani Malala Yousafzia, a young girl child education activist who was shot by Taliban in October 9th, 2012.

“Boko Haram is promoting apathy towards education but Nigeria as the rest of the world needs it to grow so we can’t let the children grow without it,” he said.

His campaign it was learnt started in 2018 when he met a little girl hawking during school hours in Demsa town, the headquarters of Demsa Local Government Area where he served.

After researching and discovering her to be from an extremely poor home, the 30-year began an educational support program using his personal savings.

Aside from paying fees and sowing uniforms for school children, the volunteer teacher organized educational enlightenment seminars in Mosques, extramural classes for students, donated cash for religious activities as well as educational books and movies to students.

Though still receiving personal “threat messages” from suspected herdsmen at home, David’s actions have strengthened peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims in Demsa Local Government, says the Demsa Central Mosque in a letter to the NYSC dated 17th October, 2019.

The letter signed by the Chief Imam of the Mosque, Mohammed Umar, and Chairman, Demsa Mosques, Bello Mohammed recommended him for special recognition by the NYSC.

The outgone corps member was however disqualified for a National award for having used his personal resources for the community development projects.

The Adamawa State government is however expected to honor him within the month.

Sources say plans are underway to retain him as a permanent government employee in the State.

"I have lost reason to live," cries widow whose son was killed by herdsmen

JOS, NIGERIA: Since the gruesome murder of her son by suspected Fulani herdsmen, Mrs. Asabe Ishaku, 54, a poor Nigerian widow says she has lost reason to live.

Her son, Zakka Ishaku was reportedly killed on October 23, 2019 while working in his farm in Makale village, near Plateau State University, Bokkos.

When it happened, the mother of two attempted suicide twice.

“Twice I was stopped from jumping into a well.

“I felt it was better to drown and follow my son than live this life.

“The pain was unbearable and it still is,” she said in an interview.

Zakka was her youngest and closest son. All others had left home in search of jobs in the city, it was learnt.

Eyewitnesses say his killers, a gang of ten men armed with clubs and swords mobbed him when he attempted to stop a straying herd of cattle from grazing on his growing crops.

One eyewitness, Mr. Mwanti Ishaku, a half brother of the deceased who was also injured during the attack said, “The boy looking after the herd first pulled out a knife to stab me when we tried to chase the cattle from the crop farms.

“We disarmed and cautioned him and even handed him back the knife but soon after, others who were grazing on harvested corn stocks in nearby farms rushed in and began to brutally assault us.

“I was hit on the spinal cord with a heavy stick and I fainted. By the time I regained consciousness, I saw my brother in a pull of blood and the attackers, our Fulani neighbors had fled.

“His skull was broken and he was lying unconscious on the ground.”

Zakka was rushed to a local clinic from where he was referred to a cottage hospital in Bokkos, and later to Bingham University Teaching Hospital in Jos, the capital of Plateau State.

He however died in less than 24hrs from excess bleeding, MK gathers.

All 10 suspects have been arrested and are currently being interrogated at the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department of the Plateau State Police Command.

That however has not guaranteed security for the predominantly peasant farmers in the affected village.

Indiscriminate grazing, farm destructions, intimidation and attacks by herdsmen have persisted in Plateau villages despite government’s claims of restoring peace.

Zakka was attacked a day before another farmer, Joshua Mafulul was shot in Sangwak village located 15kms away from Makale village.

Mafulul was shot by a herder he reportedly cautioned three days earlier from grazing on his farm crops.

Three women had in September been killed in nearby Riyom Local Government Area while harvesting tomatoes.

More threats have been reported in different villages leading to an obvious decline in public participation in agriculture.

This has partly “acute food insecurity” for over 4 million Nigerians according to a recent UN report.

Local authorities however claim there was no food or social insecurity in the country.

Plateau: Suspected herdsmen kill, rob nine Policemen of arms in 2 months

At least nine policemen have been killed in Plateau State, in five patrol targeted attacks since September 2019.

The attacks which appear to be a hunt for arms are believed to have been carried out by herdsmen.

On Saturday, November 2, 2019, an under 30year-old herdsman was killed in gun battle with a more alert patrol team, when he allegedly ambushed them in Barkin Ladi with one other.

A week earlier however, another patrol team attacked in Mangu was not so lucky.

Four men were killed and their weapons stolen in the October 25, 2019 attack that occurred at about midday.

Three police Sergeants had been killed in a similar attack in Bokkos on 8th October, 2019.

This was barely two weeks after the killing of another Sergeant and an Inspector on 21st September, 2019 in Barkin Ladi.

A week earlier, a Police attache with the Special Task Force was killed while escorting a bread supply van near Monguna village in Bokkos LGA.

In all of the attacks, weapons were stolen with no arrest made.

It was however just yesterday that two suspects including a medical worker were arrested in connection to the October 25 attack in Mangu.

Officials are however still to issue any statement as investigations are still on.

The seeming arms harvest is however feared to be in preparation to a planned attack in the State.

Since the start of winter, indiscriminate grazing, farmland destructions and widespread intimidations have been reported in many local communities.

At least one death has been recorded in Bokkos with many more injured or threatened on their farms by the herdsmen.

“This is a sign of a coming disaster,” said a survivor of one of the latest attacks in Bokkos, Mr. Joshua Mafulul.

Mafulul, 50, a community leader in Sangwak village was shot in his house days after he cautioned a straying herder in his farm.

No arrest has been made in connection to the attack on October 24, 2019.

2023: "North will never settle for Vice President" - Fulani leader

Nigeria’s Fulani tribesmen say they will not support a Southern candidate for President in 2023.

The North cannot trust a Southern President, leader of Jonde Jam Development Association, Alhaji Saidu Maikano, said, Tuesday in Jos, the capital of Plateau State.

Only a Northern President can be trusted to deliver just, fair and credible leadership, Maikano said in a chat with newsmen.

According to him, much of Nigeria’s sociopolitical problems were caused by Southern politicians.

“President Olusegun Obasanjo scatered the democratic structures put in place by President Shehu Shagari, and Goodluck Jonathan halted developmental programs started by President Musa Yard’Adua,” said the Fulani leader.

To ensure continuity of current President Buhari’s policies and programs therefore, the North, Maikano said has resolved to back the South only for Vice President.

In his words, “anyone from any part of Northern Nigeria seeking to be Vice President hates the North and is on their own.

“They should relocate and nationalize in the South to earn our support.”

The group’s position is perhaps a direct disaproval of Central Nigeria’s Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong in his rumoured bid to deputize the ruling All Progressives Congress’ national leader, Ahmed Tinubu in the 2023 President race.

“How can a Governor that cannot meet the welfare and infrastructural needs of his State meet those of 200 million Nigerians?

“Lalong as his predecessors has neglected the Fulani and many other tribes,” the Jonde Jam leader said.

Alh. Saidu Maikano, Jonde Jam President

Plateau: Barkin Ladi Chair issues forms seeking community inputs on planned projects

Communities in Central Nigeria now decide priority projects for government.

In Plateau State’s Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, communities are issued project priority forms to guide government’s decisions.

The idea is to ensure communities get exactly the projects that solve their needs, Chairman of the LGA, Mr. Ezekiel Mandyau told journalists, Tuesday.

“No more will government execute projects for political relevance, but human impact,” he said.

The forms are a followup to a tour of communities by the newly appointed Official where he held meetings with people groups to identify their needs.

“We identified unemployment, peace, security and infrastructural development as needs that cut across the different Districts of the locality but we want to attend them according to their importance to each community,” Mandyau said.

Ezekiel Mandyau

Findings from the survey, the Council boss said will be verified along with selected stakeholders before project execution starts.

“When we are able to sit with the various stakeholders again, we will integrate all of these positions and see what we will be able to achieve,” he said.

This is the first time communities are getting such liberty, said a national official of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Mr. Jok Alamba when the Chairman visited Gashish District.

“It is changing the way government is run,” opined an ex State Commissioner, Bulus Bot in Heipang.

“This is a sure sign of democratic maturity,” an ex Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Mr. Isa Song corroborated in Foron District.

Same were the submissions of other stakeholders in Ropp and Fan Districts.

But does the LG Chair have the legal and institutional backing to execute capital projects being a part-time administrator?

Mandyau said, “We have had no inhibition so far. One week after taking over, we instituted an audit committee and no one raised a brow. Rather, it was applauded and encouraged. So from all indications, the State Governor is interested in good governance.”

Plateau Community leader shot after cautioning against indiscriminate grazing

Mr. Joshua Mafulul Kim, shot by suspected herdsmen in Bokkos.

JOS, NIGERIA: Yet to be identified gunmen last week shot a community leader in Bokkos Local Government Area, Plateau State, hours after he reportedly cautioned a herder from indiscriminate grazing.

Mr. Joshua Mafulul, the Mai Ungwa of Sangwak village, located 5kms west of Plateau State University, Bokkos had been threatened by the herder he cautioned on the farm.

“On the 18th of October 2019, I was on the farm and the herder came attempting to access a harvested maize farm through a narrow path that passed between newly planted farms.

“I cautioned that his cattle were going to destroy those tender growing crops, advising him to take an alternative.

“He confronted me instantly, saying the neighboring Fulani herdsmen were tolerating us too much that was why we could say anything.

“I sensed he was out for trouble and i allowed him to have his way.

“Then on 24th October, three identified herdsmen came with guns and shot me in my house, leaving me for dead,” Mafulul told MK.

Indiscriminate grazing by the local herders, the village chief said had become constant in the community.

“This could cause a war,” Mafulul worries, calling law enforcements to ask “fast”.

X-ray showing cartridge shrapnel in Mafulul’s flesh

The Nigerian constitution provides stiff punishments for trespass, assault and murder, but enforcement has seemed weak since the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999.

Observers have blamed the situation on weak judicial systems.

Recent calls for the judicial autonomy for efficient performance have yet to be considered by State authorities.

Fight poverty, illiteracy not each other, B/Ladi Chair begs citizens

Central Nigeria’s Barkin Ladi Local Government Chairman, Barr. Ezekiel Mandyau on Monday launched a campaign against poverty and illiteracy in a move to restore peace in the troubled LGA.

“Let’s fight poverty and ignorance not each other,” says the campaign media message written in English, Berom and Fulfulde unveiled by the LG boss.

“It aims to reconcile communities involved in conflicts for participatory government,” said Mandyau at a town hall meeting in Gashish, 40kms Southwest of Jos, the capital of Plateau State.

Barkin Ladi has witnessed violent conflicts between predominantly native farmers and migrant Fulani herdsmen for over a decade.

At least 200 people were killed in the latest of such violence in June 2018.

Thousands of people, mainly women and children displaced by the attacks have yet to return to their homes for fear of being killed.

“Government is disturbed by this,” said the recently appointed Official.

Some community representatives at the interface – Mr. Jok Alamba and Ibrahim Musa had blamed the violence on illiteracy and poverty.

According to Mr. Alamba, a former Chairman of Barkin Ladi and a serving national official of the All Progressives Congress party, “when as a leader you neglect the people in their hunger and poverty, you fuel anger and hatred.”

Mr. Musa, the leader of the Fulani community in Gashish said, “when youths lack education, they take to drugs and when they go into drugs, they become violent.”

The LG Chairman’s campaign was launched along with a community needs assessment survey.

The survey form is expected to be circulated in the locality and filled by citizens.

Findings from the research will guide government policies and programmes, it was learnt.

Special Task Force authorities in the locality however say dialogue and reconciliation was key to attaining the government’s objectives.

Colonel Ojo and Colonel Audu, the Commanders of the STF Sectors 4 and 5 respectively, separately said at the meeting that officials needed to bring communities together to discuss their differences.

The State Government in 2016 set up a Peace Building Agency to resolve and prevent conflicts.

The agency holds monthly dialogue meetings with stakeholders from crisis-hit communities.

Other peace organizations like the US-based Search for Common Ground have for decades also funded peace and reconciliation programmes in conflict-affected communities in the State.

No clear records exist to show the impact of these interventions but many farmers and herders who were obviously meeting at the Gashish town hall for the first time in 16 months since the conflicts, joyfully exchanged pleasantries in what appeared to be a happy reunion.

Plateau LG workers protest over financial autonomy, others

NAN: Local Government workers in Plateau under the aegis of Tripartite Workers Union on Monday embarked on a protest against the non implementation of financial autonomy and the 18 per cent minimum wage by the State Government.

The workers shut the gates of Secretariats of the 17 local governments in the state, preventing the councils’ chairmen and other staff from entry.

News Agency of Nigeia (NAN) reports that as early as 7 a.m. the workers converged at the secretariats and barricaded the gates, chanting solidarity songs and barring any official or visitor from gaining access to the building.

The aggrieved workers under the tripartite Union are: Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) and National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM).

Mr Arandong Makwin, Plateau Tripartite Union Chairman, said that the statewide protest was embarked upon sequel to failure of the State Government to meet “our demands before the Oct. 30 ultimatum.”

“Sequel to our meeting held on 0ct. 4 at Barkin Ladi, we resolved that the state government should immediately commence the full implementation of financial autonomy, promotion and payment of arrears, 18 per cent minimum wage and annual increment.

“Others include remittance of 10 per cent IGR to local governments by the state as provided by law, 15 per cent of teachers’ salaries from local governments instead of the 100 per cent being deducted as stipulated by law and payment of salaries on/before 25th of every month.

“As we speak, nobody from the government has said anything about our letter of ultimatum dated Oct. 4 nor called us for a discussion.

“Consequently, we decided to stage this protest all over the 17 local governments to press home our demands, which if not met, nobody will be allowed to enter the Secretariats including the chairmen,” Makwin said.

He said the workers had suffered enough due to the non implementation over the years, saying, “this time around, we are saying no to it as we need the best of welfare as our dues.”

According to him, “This protest will continue until the government meet our demands.”

The State Commissioner of Information, Mr Dan Manjang, said that the state government was taken aback by the action of the local government workers and accused them of being unfair to Gov. Simon Lalong’s administration which he said, had human face.

Manjang said the government was doing it’s best in looking into the worker’s demands toward addressing them for industrial harmony and for the desired growth and development in the state.

“We are appealing to the aggrieved and protesting local government workers to sheath their swords and allow us to look into and address their plights.

“”There is no wisdom in grounding the merchihery of government and still expect it to have the expected resources to address your demands.

”We are appealing to them to call off their protest and strike and allow us to sit at a round table to resolve our differences, ” he said. (NAN)

Herdsmen attacks forcing Plateau women into trafficking – Group

Mrs. Flourence Jambo, BWDA Chair

By Joel Gomiyar

Women and children displaced by herdsmen attacks in Plateau State now take to ‘strange vices’ to survive, a local women group, Berom Women Development Association has said.

Most of them lost their businesses and farms in the attacks that have persisted since 2012, President of the association, Mrs. Florence Jambol said, Thursday.

Government’s failure to return the IDPs home to their socioeconomic lives has worsened their plights, said Jambol at the funeral of a local village chief, Mr. Timothy Babuje in Shonong Community, Riyom Local Government Area.

The women leader appealed to government to speedily facilitate the home return of the IDPs to enable them pick up and rebuild.

She said, “I am sad as I speak to you now, yes we have come home to bury our chief, but nobody is living in this community.

“This place has been attacked more than four times since 2012.

“Still the people desire to return home especially women, because a woman prefers to take care of her situation even in a shackle than outside her home”.

New Plateau LG boss tours attacked villages, Monday

Ezekiel Mandyau, MCC, B/Ladi LGA

Plateau’s newly appointed Management Committee Chairman of Barkin Ladi Local Government Council, Barr. Ezekiel Mandyau, will next week tour villages affected by herdsmen attacks in the locality.

“The people’s tour,” Mandyau had said last week is preparatory to the full return of internally displaced persons this December.

Lasting till Tuesday, the tour, officials say will feature talks with Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders, Youth groups and Women representatives among others.

The tour is scheduled thus:

Day 1:
4th Nov. 2019 by 10:00am
Crisis affected areas in Gashish district.

Day 2:
5th Nov. 2019
=Ropp district 10:am
=Fan district 12:00pm
=Foron district 2:00pm
=Heipang district 4:00pm
Barr. Ezekiel Mandyau
Mgt. Comt. Chairman
Barkin Ladi LGC