Breaking News: Plateau Crowned Prince, five others killed in another village attack

Angry villagers oppose movement of corpses to mortuary

Jos, Nigeria: Gunmen believed to be herders on Monday attacked a Plateau native community, killing six people including a crowned Prince.

Mr. Chungyang Mwadkon, a former Acting Village Head of Wereng village in Riyom Local Government Area was due for coronation when he was shot and killed while trying to escape from the attackers, it was gathered.

Eyewitnesses say the assailants, armed with AK47 rifles and other deadly weapons invaded the community at about 9pm local time, shooting at everyone in sight.

"We first thought they were vigilante because they were wearing boots and security kits like community Police, until they started shooting at us," said Kim Francis, 32.

"They kept shooting and picking their expended bullet shells as they moved," said Francis who was shot in the leg.

Lyop David, 35 and Mary Francis, 65, shot in the thigh and leg respectively said they were chased with steady gunfire into their rooms.

The attackers killed three members of a family in their compound while Mr. Mwadkon and two others were killed along the road.

Officials draw "battle line" with village raiders in Plateau

Governor Simon Lalong releases dove to symbolize peace

Central Nigeria: Officials in Plateau State say they are aware of security threats in the state caused by "merchants of evil".

But as a government, "we have vowed that we will never budge in our duty towards protecting the lives and properties of our people,' said Governor Simon Lalong, Thursday.

"No amount of blackmail and desperation will deter us from this task. We have drawn the battle line with criminals and together with security agencies remain steadfast in securing our State," the Governor said 

According to him, arrests have already been made over the recent killing of a Traditional Ruler in Foron District, Barkin Ladi LGA; the Killing of a DSS operative in Shendam; as well as the killing of five people in Vwang District of Jos South Local Government Area.

Jos: Bimma Hospital successfully grafts eroded skin for poor accident victim at risk of amputation

Benjamin Gwang minutes before skin grafting

Central Nigeria: Doctors have successfully grafted eroded skin for Mr. Benjamin Joshua, 32, a poor accident victim previously at risk of amputation for lack of funds.

The hours long surgery last Thursday was done at Bimma orthopedic hospital, Jos, Plateau State where Benjamin has been treated since July, 2020.

Benjamin's leg fully grafted

The hospital had commenced treatment for the patient with less than 50% of the N300,000 initial surgery charge paid, agreeing to cover some of the expenses.

See Jos: Bimma hospital slashes treatment charge for poor accident victim battling 3year-old injuries

The partnership followed news reports published by MK Reporters, seeking help for the poor father of three.

A low income mason, Benjamin had multiple fractures in the leg from a deadly autocrash in 2017 and was first treated in a missionary hospital with metal implants fixed in the affected bone.

Benjamin was on the verge of amputation when Bimma admitted him following appeals from MKREPORTERS

The wounds however degenerated, as the implants began to rust, infecting Benjamin's bones.

Due to lack of funds, Benjamin managed the infections locally while the wounds expanded and deepened, with constant strong smelling white discharge.

Joshua’s skin was deeply eaten by the 3year-old infection

Doctors said he could lose the leg if surgery was not conducted to remove the implant and swiftly control the fast spreading infection.

See Without raising N300,000 for surgery, Benjamin, 32 could lose a limb

The first surgery was conducted in early August to remove the orthopedic implant in Benjamin's leg. After successfully controlling the infection, Doctors carried out the skin grafting, raiding hope for a normal life for the patient.

Doctors carefully but happily removed implant from Joshua’s leg despite being partly charity

The hospital has however incurred extra expenses in drugs, laboratory examinations and hired expertise needing financing.

Post-surgery expenses might equally be a challenge without adequate funding, when Benjamin is eventually discharged.

Bimma Hospital is reputed for quality treatment of orthopedic cases at low cost

Kindly reach deep into your heart and lend a hand using MK Reporters' First Bank Nigeria account 2034760123 or call +2348062923239.

MK’s news report only attracted about 40% of the required amount through cash donations, but Bimma Hospital is not letting finances hinder the treatment.

Peace building does not mean covering up for killers - Senator Gyang

Senator Istifanus Gyang speaks at a continental summit in Dakar, Senegal (file photo)

The Senator representing Plateau North in the Nigerian National Assembly, Istifanus Gyang has said that those criticizing him for openly condemning the persisting attacks in his constituency are merely attempting to "disparage, label and stigmatize" him for political gains. 

Labeling anyone as "tribalist" and "enemy" of peace for "voicing out" for victims of "sustained attacks, killings and displacements", the Senator said on Sunday, is "anti-Plateau".

"Is anyone in doubt about who is getting killed and who the killers are on the Plateau or anywhere else in the Northern states? Whether in Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Niger or Kaduna, is it still a subject of debate?

"That 10 traditional rulers were assassinated in Plateau North is not enough for an alarm to be sounded? Not to talk of further threats against the safety of those still alive. To brand the alarm raised by Senator Gyang as tribalism is unfortunate and satanic. So the killing of the traditional rulers is not the problem but raising alarm against it is the problem?" Gyang quarried.

Peace building, the Senator said in a press statement through his media Advisor, Musa Ashoms, "does not mean to deny facts nor overlook the reality of prolonged attacks on communities in Plateau North; neither does advocating peace means concealing the identity of attackers and killers; nor does it mean applauding government and security agencies in the face of failure to arrest increasing and rising wave of terrorism, insurgency, banditry and killings across the nation."

Local newspaper reports had accused the Senator of incitement.

Gyang had on Friday at the funeral of a murdered Village Chief in his constituency demanded probe on growing assassination of traditional rulers and their civilian subjects.

An acclaimed peace group however lashed the Senator as unfairly criticising securities and labeling herdsmen as the killers.

The Senator however maintained that his comments at the funeral were excerpts from his motion at the Senate last Wednesday.

Armed attackers face deadly military artillery after killing civilians in Plateau

File photo: Police takeover attack scene in Plateau village - representative image

Central Nigeria: Two people were Friday gunned down in Ncha village of Bassa Local Government Area, Plateau State, hours after officials held a peace meeting to end clashes between farmers and herders.

A man named Moses Abbah was killed and another, Mr. Musa David was severely injured while planting beans, it was gathered.

It was the tenth of such attacks in the agrarian State in less  than two weeks, after gunmen believed to be herders killed a Police Sergeant and a civilian in farming Malul hamlet of Daffo district, in the State's Bokkos LGA.

Observers believe the Ncha village farm murder was a reprisal by the attackers who on Wednesday ran into a highly alert military peacekeeping troop while attempting to raid nearby Kpachudu village.

Many of the assailants reportedly escaped with deadly injuries, some of whom are believed to have died hours later.

The raiders, according to an eyewitness who is currently being treated of bullet wounds by the Jos Special Task Force Commander, included familiar herdsmen residing in a nearby village.

Last Friday, a corpse believed to be of one of those injured in the military encounter was found around Gero, Sabon Gida village near Bassa LGA.

Inside sources fear a possible revenge for the recorded casualties, likely in unguarded communities for fear of military reaction.

The Wednesday attack, it was learnt, aimed to avenge the death of one Mr. Saleh Bimbi, another suspected attacker reportedly killed in crossfire with military peacekeepers in Ncha village last Sunday after killing three locals in an ambush.

Similar military interventions have neutralized violent criminal gangs previously terrorizing travelers along Jos-Kaduna roads, leading to weeks of sustained peace in the axis.

The STF troops are however not depending on Force to achieve results.

Intelligence, dialogue and criminal rehabilitation are among approaches used by present officials to end violence in Plateau and other neighboring States, it was learnt.

Through these, at least 18 suspects of herdsmen attacks, identified by their uncomfortable kinsmen are now being tracked by the troops.

The body might however lack the constitutional backing to prosecute suspects as a peacekeeping agency.

With sufficient evidences however, it could secure conviction in partnership with the Police Force, except for political sabotage or compromise by trial officials.

"More traditional rulers targeted for assassination in Plateau," Senator alarms

Senator Istifanus Gyang and Hon. Musa Bagos, House of Reps

Jos, Plateau: Nigerian Senator, Istifanus Gyang on Friday said more traditional rulers in Plateau have been listed for assassination.

The "serial targeted killing" of traditional rulers by suspected herdsmen aims at total takeover of native lands in the State, said the Senator at the funeral of a village chief, Mr. Bulus Chuwang, killed on Monday 21st September, 2020 by armed men suspected to be herders.

Gyang said, "In Barkin Ladi alone, in Gashish District, Gwom Kachi, Gwom Ruku and indeed the District Head were killed. In Heipang District, Gwom Kwapo was killed. In Fann District, Gwom Nding Rankasa was killed. In Foron District, Gwom Kakweng, Gwom Ru, and now the Acting District Head of Foron have all been slain. Not only that, a Paramount Chief of First Class standing was murdered in Bokkos Local Government. We have received credible information locally that some of the Chiefs you're seeing here are the next targets of attack. The ultimate desire is the quest to takeover this land."

The lawmaker demanded the prosecution and punishment of "troublemakers" by government and security agencies to fulfill their constitutional responsibility of securing lives.

"The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria allows every Nigerian to choose wherever he wants to reside in any part of the country. But the same Constitution says wherever you are, you must contribute to the wellbeing of that community. When you come to a community and threatened the peace and wellbeing of that community, it is the responsibility of government to ensure that those people that won't let others to be at peace are dealt with. The Primary responsibility of government is to secure lives. And if that is not done then government has failed."

Senator Gyang who represents Plateau North in the Senate and is Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Defense said every local security report should be taken "seriously" by security agents rather than probing sources of such.

"Just last week, one of our very vibrant youngmen that has been reporting on these things was invited by the security that he is raising false alarm. Instead of you to focus on those that are the problem, you want to focus on those that are raiding alarm against those people," said the Senator.

He also called for action against "malicious" damage to farm crops by herdsmen in the State, which he said threatens food security.

He said, "The State Government should support the Nigerian Civil Defense Corps to deploy Agro Rangers to secure some of these farms because the threat is alarming. Right now Nigeria has started importing maize, something that has never happened before. And the farm crops that are supposed to guarantee food security are being maliciously destroyed."

Gyang on Wednesday raised a motion at the Senate's sitting on the security threats in Plateau State, particularly the targeted assassination of traditional rulers.

Covid-19: 1600 Jos school staff, students get PPE donation from old students

Jos, Nigeria: Command Secondary School Jos on Wednesday took delivery of 4800 pieces of personal protective equipment, donated by its old students.

1600 PPE packs containing a bottle of hand sanitizer, face shield and facemask combined are expected to reach each of the school’s 1500 students and 100 staff.

Supported by Kas Prints, Abuja, makers of the kits, Command Secondary School Jos Old Students Association (COJOSA) aims to protect resuming staff and students from COVID-19 and other contagious diseases, for optimal performance.

Each carton contains a combo pack of face shield, facemask and hand sanitizer

“Our hope is for them to stay healthy, learn well and earn well in the future,” said the COJOSA Secretary General, Mr. Gabriel Bigwan.

The body has previously made several social and infrastructural donations to the school and is currently building a 1500 capacity dining hall for students, the union leader said.

COJOSA building 1500 capacity dining hall

This it does to supplement government’s efforts, “which itself has been crying for private partnership because it is overstretched,” said Bigwan while presenting the PPEs on behalf of COJOSA President, Mr. Ademola Kasimu.

The PPEs were donated in commemorating the school’s establishment on September 29, 1977, said Jos Branch Chairman of COJOSA, Femi Akinkpelu.

Femi Akinpelu Dapson, left, Gabriel Bigwan, middle

The school was built for children from low income families but has produced graduates currently excelling in different fields, he said.

To sustain this, partnership from private bodies, Akinkpelu said was crucial, especially during disease outbreaks to keep students safe and healthy enough to acquire knowledge.

PPEs donated in partnership with Kas Prints Abuja

Lagos and other Nigerian states had announced September 21, 2020 as resumption date for students in Junior Secondary School (JSS) 3 and Senior Secondary School (SS2).

Graduating classes nationwide had long resumed and taken their final year examinations.

The donated PPEs would cut student expenses on covid-19 prevention as they likely resume in weeks.

Old students gift 1600 Covid-19 combo packs to Command Secondary School Jos

1600 packs containing facemasks, face shields and hand sanitizers donated for staff and students

Jos, Nigeria: Command Secondary School Jos on Wednesday took delivery of 1,600 packs of COVID-19 prevention kits, donated by its old students.

Command Secondary School Jos Old Students Association (COJOSA) has previously made several donations to the school - infrastructure, educational support, others, it was learnt.

The latest donation is to secure students from COVID-19 and other contagious diseases as they resume for classes, the association's General Secretary, Mr. Gabriel Bigwan said.

Lagos and other Nigerian states had announced September 21, 2020 as resumption date for students in Junior Secondary School (JSS) 3 and Senior Secondary School (SS2).

Graduating classes nationwide had long resumed and taken their final year examinations.

"Until students are healthy and safe, they cannot concentrate to be productive in their educational pursuits," said Jos Branch Chairman of COJOSA, Femi Akinpelu.

More from the presentation underway.

Assailants leave blood inscription after killing women and child in Plateau

A strange inscription at the scene of the murder of three in Bassa LGA

Central Nigeria: Armed men who killed two women and a child on Monday in Plateau's Kpachudu village of Bassa Local Government Area left a hand written signature behind, it was gathered.

A strange inscription, likely made with blood was seen on the door of the victims after the assailants left. 

The inscription is in a language that has yet to be interpreted.

Believed to be herdsmen, the killers, eyewitnesses say came from nearby hills at about 8pm, opened fire in a room where two women and a child were sleeping and immediately disappeared.
Expended bullet shells at the scene of attack in Bassa

The two women - Mrs. Asabe John, 25 and Miss Mary Andrew, 18 were reportedly killed in the room while Emmanuel David, 6 was shot outside while trying to escape.

Police and military authorities arrived the scene hours after the attack but no arrest was confirmed.

The attack was preceded by the murder of three others in nearby Ncha village on Sunday night, it was learnt.

Five people were killed three days earlier in neighboring Jos South LGA, barely 72hrs after the murder of a village Chief in Barkin Ladi, another LGA neighboring Bassa.

Authorities say they have arrested suspects in connection to the killing of the five and the Chief but no details have been given.

Six killed in Plateau hours to slain Chief's funeral

Attacks in Plateau villages have persisted for weeks despite government claims of restoring peace

Six people including two women and a child have been killed in two sperate attacks in Central Nigeria's Plateau State, reports say.

Last Sunday, three people were killed in Ncha, a village in Bassa Local Government attacked on September 7, 2017, with 21 people killed.

About 60 hectares of grown crop farms jointly cultivated by the returning internally displaced persons were sheared in a renewed aggression last August.

The perpetrators of the Sunday attack had yet to be identified when another invasion was recorded on Monday in Kpachudu village, few miles away from Ncha village, in Bassa.

Three people - Emmanuel David, 6, Mary Andrew, 18 and Asabe John, 25 were killed when unknown assailants opened fire in a private residence, President of the Meyango Youth Movement, Mr. Chinge Dodo said.

The assailants used their Victims' blood to write in a strange language on the floor before leaving, said Mr. Samson Rivi, Acting Spokesperson, Irigwe Development Association.

No comments have been obtained from officials but eyewitnesses say the assailants in both villages looked and spoke like Fulani herdsmen.

The attacks follow the murder of five people last Thursday in K-Vom village in Jos South Local Government Area, which was preceded by the murder of a village Chief, Mr. Bulus Chuwang Jang in Foron village of Barkin Ladi LGA.

The Acting District Head of Foron was hacked to death in his house at about 8pm, after his electricity generator mysteriously went off.

His funeral has been fixed for Friday, October 2, 2020.

Securities will guard air travelers to Plateau - Government

Officials launch flights from Jos to Abuja for the first time

Jos, Nigeria: Flight operations by Max Air have commenced along Jos-Abuja route, weeks after officials signed undertaking to ease transport.

Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong on Monday flaged off the flight from Abuja to Jos operated in company of his wife Regina, and other officials.

The plane took off 5:30pm from Abuja and landed at the Yakubu Gowon Airport Jos around 6:00pm, it was learnt.

Governor Lalong said the flight connecting Plateau State with the nation's capital Abuja will open up business opportunities in the State and boost tourism.

The State he said has continued to witness influx of people since the return of peace, with many yearning for air transportation to cut travel time by road. 

Lalong assured air travellers that securities have been deployed to ensure safety of passengers. 

Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives Idris Maje and Minister of Women Affairs Paullen Tallen commended the efforts of the Governor in ensuring that this historic achievement is recorded.

Opposing public officials over tribe, religion, political interests unhealthy - Governor Lalong

Gov. Simon Lalong at a special independence Thanksgiving service

Jos, Nigeria: Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State says making Nigeria great is the task of all citizens regardless of tribe, religion or political affiliation.

"It is our country and we have no other", said the Governor, Sunday. 

Citizens should hold accountable those in power but never fail to support them, Lalong said at a church service to mark the 60th independence anniversary held at the St. Monica Catholic Church, Rantya, Jos Plateau State.

"Failure to support them because of differences of religion, ethnicity, politics and other affiliations will keep all of us running in circles and down," he said.

In a homily, Msgnr. Prof. Cletus Gotan citing Ezekiel 18:25-28 and Philipians 2:1-11 among others said Nigeria is blessed in all aspects but has been held down by "greed, political maladministration, corruption, poverty and insecurity."

Nigeria he said is in need of a Nehemiah who will lead the country to justice, equity, fairness, righteousness and tolerance.

Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria Plateau State Rev. Fr. Polycap Lubo said the Church will continue to pray for the peace and progress of Nigeria. 

Director General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Sir. Joseph Ari was also at the service to offer Thanksgiving over his reappointment for a second term by President Muhammadu Buhari. 

Most Revd. Hillary Dachelem, Bishop of Bauchi, top Government officials and heads of security agencies in the State were at the church service, reports Dr. Makut Simon Macham, the Director of Press amd Public Affairs to the Governor of Plateau State.


Millions of Nigerian children are out of school, findings show

Mr. President, it is imperative to remind you of the condition of the common man - the perils that the common man has to endure daily due to challenges facing the nation such as the: 

- Devaluation of the Naira (Economy)
- Hike in Electricity Tariff
- Increase in petroleum pump price
- Insecurity & among others
- Inflation

In his 1943 paper, "A Theory of Human Motivation", Abraham Maslow believes to fully attain the Hierarchy of Basic needs, 'A lower level must be completely satisfied and fulfilled before moving onto a higher pursuit'. These needs by his judgment include:

1. Physical Survival Needs: which entails Food, Drink, Shelter, Sleep and Oxygen.

2. Physical Safety Needs: after the needs of physical survival have been met, the need for one to feel free and safe from personal dangers and threats; security.

Mr. President, judging by Maslow's theory,  a good percentage of Nigerians have not attained even the lowest level of basic needs, and therefore cannot pursue their life goals. This has since kept millions of them under the poverty line. 

I and millions of Nigerians elsewhere are asking you and your administration to look into these issues because they are not just key but they are the primary and basic needs of about 80 to 90 percent of Nigerians.

We look forward to seeing positive improvements in the coming days as you consider the issues highlighted. I am confident that you can do justice to all.

Thank you for your leadership and service to our Great Nation Nigeria.

Yours Concerned Youth and Citizen of Nigeria

Emmanuel Job

Agro rangers to guard villages facing threats in Plateau

A displaced farmer hopelessly watches his farm eaten up by cattle 

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) will henceforth guard farming communities in Plateau state against violent attacks, Officials have said.

The NCDC's agro rangers, would be deployed to Barkin-ladi, Riyom and other local government areas facing attacks, Secretary to the Government of Plateau state, Prof. Danladi Atu said, Saturday.

“Government is calling on all community leaders, citizens of Plateau, traditional rulers, to cooperate with security agencies and other non-formal security actors to safe guard the environment, by availing intelligence reports to help in addressing the security challenges we are facing," Atu said.

According to him, arrests have already been made for the killing of a Tradition Ruler in Ratsat village of Foron District, Barkin Ladi LGA, the Killing of a DSS operative in Shendam as well as the killing of five people in Vwang district Jos South Local Government.

"The perpetrators would be brought to book," he said, but gave no details of the said arrests.

The State Governor, Simon Lalong, had, somewhat responding to internet news reports exposing plans to attack farming communities, asked Journalists to report with caution and "establish the authenticity of their reports".

Despite recurring attacks since the release of the news report two weeks ago however, no move has been made to investigate the criminal activities exposed by the journalist.

Plateau sinks N3.38bn ADB loan into agro infrastructure, others

File Photo: Street rehabilitation continued in Plateau State during COVID-19 lockdown (representative image).

Jos, Nigeria: Central Nigerian officials on Friday said they are currently building infrastructure for a proposed "Potato Value Chain Project" in Plateau State.

Though not confirmed, 70% of a N3.38bn African Development Bank loan secured in 2017 has been used to build 18 Community Markets, six completed and handed over to the Local Governments and Communities, Plateau State Commissioner of Information, Dan Manjang said in a press statement.

12 Diffuse Light Stores are equally under construction, with three nearing commissioning, said Manjang.

Additionally, the Commissioner said two Processing Centres are being condtructed along with 17 Spring Captures, 26 Water Harvesting Structures for Dry Season Irrigation as well as a 200km "Spot Road Improvement" across the 17 LGAs of the State.

20% of the total fund, he said was for Capacity Building and 10% for Project Management.

The disbursement of the loan from the ADB, said the Official, is done directly to Contractors and Consultants.

Federal Officials on Wednesday 26th July 2017 announced the approval of the loan following the ADB's "comprehensive programme on potato production in Plateau State".

According to the then Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, the fund would create 60,000 jobs, benefitting 100,000 families across the State's 17 local government areas.

Plateau natives blame securities for murder of five kinsmen

A protester tries to forcefully offload a corpse from a Police truck hours after attack

Central Nigeria: Officials in Plateau State say they are investigating the murder of five people in K-Vom village of Jos South Local Government Area last Thursday.

The attack at about sunset wherein a student of National Veterinary Research Institute Vom, Mr. Emmanuel John was killed along with four locals was perpetrated by "two people in green wears," said an eyewitness, Mr. Dalyop Choji who survived with deadly injuries. 

Arrests have been made on the murders and other relayed crimes, Governor Simon Lalong said, Saturday.
Dalyop Choji narrowly survived attack with deadly head injury

The case, State Police Commissioner, Edward Egbuka said, Friday, will not be ignored like others in the past.

"We are after the perpetrators, after the sponsors. This will not be another incident where the perpetrators will go scotfree I assure you," he said.

The said arrests however, are still secretive.

Locals had, Friday attacked a Police Station in K-Vom, alleging that a top Official had made utterances that possibly caused the attacks.

Windows, motorbikes and other valuables in the Police Station were shattered by the protesters who included women and Youths.
Protesters attack police station over allegedly inciting comments by Officer

"First, they gathered our people here (at Police Station) and paraded them for what we knew nothing about," Mr. Badung Mwadkon, Senior Ward Head of Gwol K-Vom told Journalists.

Mr. Alabi Gyang, Deputy Vigilante Commandant, K-Vom, said he was detained with two others over missing cattle which they in company of Federal Police had been combing bushes to rescue.

In his words, "Few weeks ago, two local hunters were attacked and one was killed. The one that survived reported shooting one of the attackers but no investigation was carried out. Few days later, a corpse of a herder was found in the same location where those hunters were attacked and the Divisional Police Officer insisted that we must provide the killers of the herder.

"She organized an identification parade for all the Vigilante and hunters in the community and we all came out but the boy that said he knew who killed his brother was not allowed to come out and identify the killer.

"The DPO later said we Berom people kill Fulani anyhow and that Fulani will come and attack us and nothing will happen. She then called the Commissioner of Police and told him that we resisted the identification parade she organised whereas we have video records of all that happened."
Police are assisted by local Chiefs to control protesters

This is not the first time violent attacks were occurring in the community, Chairman of Vwang traditional Council, Mr. Gyang Balak said.

"A Police Officer has been killed here before. A Civil Defense as well. We have been holding security meetings and encouraging ourselves to maintain peace but these things keep happening," said the Village Chief.

The community is helpless, and hopeless, said Mr. Gwottson Fom, the Lawmaker representing Jos South in the State House of Assembly.

Local Government Authorities are however still trying to calm frayed nerves over the incident.

Mr. Choji Dachung Yohanna, the Chairman of Jos South LGA told Journalists that though the immediate threats had been contained, dialogue was still ongoing.

"My husband was everything since my parents died" - Wife of Policeman killed in Plateau village ambush

Grace tearfully comforts her children hours to slain husband's funeral

Jos, Nigeria: Sargent Friday Anthony, 40, was a peacekeeper to the core. He was nicknamed "Baban Yara", meaning, lover of children, for his care for children and communal peace. 

Friday was in September 2019 deployed to Plateau State on Special Duty from Uke, Nasarawa State where he was last posted from Abakalike. From Ganda, one of 11 villages in Daffo District, Bokkos Local Government Area, displaced in 2018, to Malul, a neighboring hamlet in the village, the Special Task Force Operative was known to be a peacemaker, a role he played beyond his peacekeeping assignment. 

On Thursday, 17th August 2020, despite night fall, he insisted to settle a dispute between two locals. It was the third of such issues that day, that he wouldn't let last another day. His wife, Grace, 38, had just visited him with their two kids. It was a happy reunion but who'd have ever known that it would  turn out to be their last?

Friday, said Grace, was "Father, brother, husband and friend" to her. Since her parents died, he'd been "Everything", providing her social and psychological needs. She has a small hairdressing saloon, an only source of income aside from her husband's support. From the moment his life was cut short by gunmen believed to be herdsmen, Grace says her life has been "shattered".

"I feel like to die and follow him. I just don't know how I am going to start life, with these children. He was everything to us," she said in tears.

"We were at home together discussing about life and the future of our children," she recalled. A woman in the village, Grace narrated, "Came in reporting that a youngman in the village had collected her MP3 player and would not return it. He instantly excused himself and went to find the man. He asked about the device and the youngman said he left it in the main town charging.

"The woman insisted that he had given it out as bond for a drink he took on credit. My husband instantly asked him to go with him to get it. They did, and on their way back, Fulani people who had unknown to my husband stationed themselves in the bushes opened fire at them, killing him and the youngman.

"It was the worst day of my life. The gunshots were no longer scary, when I heard my husband's voice. I felt like rushing to save him but was held back. These people have taken everything from me - my love, my joy, my counselor, my comfort, my hope and my children's future," Grace tearfully said.Friday Anthony, killed in the line of duty

Before Friday gave up the ghost, Grace said she heard him groaning, "Jesus help me...Jesus..." while more gunshots thundered in his direction. A survivor of the attack said when Friday fell, the attackers whom he recognized as herdsmen rushed at him with sporadic shots, pelting his face and chest with bullets.

Friday had previously cracked several crimes involving herdsmen - farmland destructions included, often insisting that compensation be paid affected farmers. Locals believe the murder was premeditated, given his role in pursuing justice for the repeatedly attacked villagers.

The killers have yet to be arrested, but they are known faces within the locality, villagers say. 

Some of them who reportedly reside within the community had previously been arrested for murder, with incriminating evidences but released without trial. 

The Thursday 17th attack was the seventh in the hamlet. The last before it was three weeks ago when a boy named Holleng Matthew was shot in the chest but the bullet did not affect his vital organs.

 Holleng Matthew recalls being shot at by familiar herders

The murder of Sgt. Friday adds to the records of attacks on security agents in Plateau State.

He will be buried on Saturday, 26th September, 2020 in Olachagbaha, Otukpa, Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State after being conveyed from 3Division Army headquarters, Jos, Friday.

Whether his killers will eventually be hunted and his wife and four children provided some support aside from the meager pension and gratuity paid junior officers in the Nigerian Police Force, which mostly take ages to process, only time will tell.

"I watched helplessness as herdsmen butchered my husband" - Wife of slain Plateau Monarch

Mrs. Chundung Bulus, wife of slain Plateau Chief

Chundung, 52, is the wife of Mr. Bulus Chuwang Janka, a Plateau monarch murdered on Monday, September 21, 2020. Her last moments with him were loving and peaceful until he got a mysterious phone call. 

"We were watching TV together at about 7:30pm, when suddenly our electric generator stopped running, and a call came to his mobile phone," she said. 

"Our village has weak mobile signal due to poor network coverage. For clear reception therefore, we often go to the backyard to make calls.

"When he went out to get clear reception, the next thing I heard was him yelling. My son and I rushed out towards him and saw people dressed like herdsmen hacking him with machetes on the ground.

"When they saw us, they started shooting at us, and we had to run for our lives. From my hideout, I could see them brutally chopping the life out of my husband, my friend, my confidant, my love and sole source of support, but I was helpless, because I had nothing to fight them back. But I really felt butchered in my heart, and up to this moment I still see their machetes dropping on him, while he yells helplessly on the ground," said the mother of five.

She and her children depended on the slain Chief of Foron District in Plateau State's Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, for welfare, comfort and social protection somehow. "I don't know how life will be from now on, for me and my children. Life will never be the same again for us," said Chundung.

But Chief Bulus was not just a dedicated father and husband, but a known defender of humanity, always speaking for truth and justice. He has been physically threatened several times both by herdsmen and security agents because of his stance for truth. His death therefore makes both his family and Foron District vulnerable.
Late Bulus Chuwang Janka

"Innocent people cannot be killed without anybody being apprehended and put to trial," said the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong in a press statement concerning the murder of the Monarch. "If we do not do so," according to the Governor, "more criminals will be bold to attack and kill our citizens," he said in the statement issued by his Press Director, Macham Makut.

However, several arrests have been made after attacks but suspects are often released before trial. "We are getting tired of being subjected to violence and denied justice," said Chairman, Berom Educational and Cultural Organization, Foron branch, Mr. Dagallang Dabot.

Several attacks attributed to herdsmen have been reported in Barkin Ladi, Riyom, Bokkos and Bassa LGAs in recent years. "Pushed to the wall, communities might be forced to seek self-help," warned Dabot.

"The era of lip service by the authorities' concerned is over as the current period; is a call for action with a view to nip in the bud, the frequency at which killings and maiming of innocent citizens; including  the destruction of farm crops and other economic mainstay of the people are concerned," adds a local elites group, Plateau Our Heritage. 

Prof. Sonni Tyoden: The unspoken story of impact & visionary leadership ||Opinion

Prof. Sonni Tyoden

When the revered Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese recently referenced Prof. Sonni Gwanle Tyoden, the erstwhile Deputy Governor of Plateau State as one of the editors of his publications, many wondered how the two got connected against social, geographical, political and likely cultural barriers that literally exist between them.

However, for Tyoden, leadership – one governed by impact and positive inter-personal relationship is innate. Perhaps because of his humble background, Tyoden is nearly completely humanized. From the testimonies of many including the lowest in society that those in power hardly get to associate with because of class difference and probably the long protocols one has to pass through to see them, Tyoden is an accomplished gentleman.

The highly reputed Professor of Political Science is kind, humble, easy-going, quick to smile and amiable. He is at home everywhere, from the farmlands of the middle belt, to the red carpets of Government houses, and to the blue rugs of international diplomacy. For many that know him, he has lived out his middle name –Gwanle- meaning struggles make possible, being able to meet people half way, able to share the burden of others and inspire hope against all odds.

This perhaps underscores his choice by the Mwaghavul Traditional Council in 2013 to bestow him with its highest traditional title – JARUMI (KOGHORONG) in 2013. In like manner, the Ndigbo of Enugu conferred him with the title UKAM MUTA NDI-ICHIE. It means first class scholar, in affirmation of his exceeding scholarship. The Pushit Traditional Council have not been left out. In 2017, they conferred Professor Sonni Gwanle Tyoden with the tittle ZAR (meaning star).

Professor Tyoden is a respected leader and loyal servant, a rare combination for an accomplished scholar and politician, who is both humble and courageous. His leadership records are far more in the unspoken stories of impact that he has left in the lives of over 3000 men and women he has raised throughout his academic career.

He started off as a humble and dedicated Teacher in Primary School Jiblik, Plateau State from 1970 to 1971 and later, Teacher, Primary School Panyam, Plateau State, 1971, grooming leaders who are today transforming lives in different sectors of the society. This he did till 2006 when he became Vice-Chancellor, University of Jos, Jos – Nigeria, where he left impeccable records.

Without mentioning his role in Nigeria’s policy development process having groomed many serving and potential public servants in the National Institute for Policy And Strategic Studies, (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, it is evident that the internationally reputed Professor of Political Science did not just grow in knowledge of theories but practical leadership qualities.

But by and large, he is rarely the type to celebrate his achievements as he is evidently still, and will always be loyal and humble as to learn from the least of all people and improve on every area he has achieved. Let’s therefore skip the profiling and hit the issues as they affect the common Plateau man.

Since 1999 when democracy returned to Nigeria, the common Plateau man has faced social, economic, political and cultural deprivations, some of which result from internal conflicts of interest. The choice of leaders has therefore been largely guided by the quest for liberation from all of these forces. Rt. Hon. Barr. (Dr.) Simon Lalong, since emergence as Governor in 2015 has successfully unified different opinions and interests, leading to remarkable improvements in the area of peace, human capital, educational and among others, infrastructural development which underlie the core aspirations of the Plateau people.

All these have been achieved with the loyal and supportive collaboration of his Deputy, Prof. Sonni Tyoden. This is a virtue he has maintained since his youth, and is determined to do more.

Needless to stress that SGT is a dedicated lover of God, a respecter of humanity, a detribalized Nigerian as well as a loving father and husband. In fact, he is believed to have a tripartite personality – the official face characterized by sterling commitment to duty, with specific focus on result delivery; the regular face characterized by uncommon humility and respect for all manner of people regardless of class or stature, and the tender, loving and caring family face which sees him dedicating much of his free time to interacting with and organizing his household. Little wonder then, Prof. Tyoden hardly attends public functions especially unofficial ceremonies and gatherings without his wife.

Such deep sense of responsibility can only be found in a man that can be trusted with both human and material resources, which the majority of Plateau people can attest to as having been undisputedly manifest in the person of Prof. Sonni Tyoden. His 70th birthday therefore is an added gain to the Rescue administration, the All Progressives Congress and the entire Plateau State because age comes with experience. And as the saying goes, Experience is the father, and memory the mother of wisdom.

Mobile Policeman, civilian Killed in Plateau Village

Attacks in Plateau State by herdsmen have persisted for over a decade

Central Nigeria: Gunmen believed to be herdsmen on Thursday killed a Mobile Policeman and a civilian native of Malul hamlet in Daffo Village of Bokkos Local Government Area, Plateau State.

The Policeman on Special Duty was ambushed along with the civilian identified as Mr. Sati Bulus on a motorbike at about 8:30pm, local time, sources say.

A meeting of Fulani herdsmen leaders reportedly held on Monday in Fass, a native community in Barkin Ladi LGA displaced and renamed Tafawa by herdsmen, resolved to resume hostilities in Daffo and three other Plateau communities before December 2020.

Sources say N1.3m was raised through freewill donation at the meeting, with additional levies placed on each herder family for the purchase of arms.

The meeting was said to have followed a similar meeting in Jos Central Mosque on August 16, 2020 where over N2m was raised for arms but the contacts sent for the purchases in Niger Republic never returned.

It is not clear whether they were arrested or they simply absconded.

Nigerian officials however recently announced the arrest of two people with arms and ammunitions heading to Jos.

The contacts were sent on the mission while a followup meeting held in Bida, Niger State where more strategies for the annexing of native communities in Central Nigeria were discussed, it was gathered.

No arrest has however been made in connection to the Daffo attack.

Observers however say violent crime involvement by herders is gradually becoming a profitable enterprise.

During the Fass village meeting, sources confirm the reward of six herders arrested over various attacks but given first class treatment in custody.

The reward was however for their courage in not disclosing their networks, it was learnt.

If true, violent crimes involving herdsmen are likely to persist in view of the growing impunity, rewards and luxuries given arrested suspects, which observers regard as breeding criminal tourism.