Tears flowed freely in Shonong district, in the Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State on Saturday as corpses of six out of the over 200 persons killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen were given a mass burial amidst tight security.
The PUNCH had reported that out of the over 200 victims, 12 were from Shonong district, while six were among those buried immediately after the attack.
The remaining six were given a mass burial to alert the international community to the plight of the residents.
The President of Berom Youth Moulders Association, Choji Chuwang, who spoke after the six persons were buried, said the Fulani had declared genocide against the Berom ethnic nationality.
He said, “We wish to let the world know that Shonong community has been under siege as the attacks began since 2006. The incessant attacks have led to the loss of several lives and property, among them is late Senator Gyang Dantong.
“This horrific act has led the people to stay in the Internally Displaced Persons camps as the Fulani have taken over our land. It has become necessary for us to let the whole world know about the recent attacks and killings in Plateau State where over 200 people were massacred. This act of genocide is condemnable.
“We condemn, in strong terms, the killings and destruction of farmlands and property worth millions of naira. We want to state categorically and let the international community know about the unpleasant events that have taken place in Shonong district. We want them to come to the aid of the community as the natives are being wiped out and their land taken over by Fulani people.”
Chuwang said Shonong district was made up of 11 villages – Kujang, Maseh, She, Palleng, Kampwas, Zere, Nanjahai, Kasa, Ninchi, Jekko and Gong.
He added that because of attacks and killing of innocent people, the district had been destroyed and needed urgent assistance.
The spokesperson for Berom Women Development Association, Ngo Jambol, said the Fulani go to farm settlement and steal after displacing villagers.
“They have occupied some areas, naming parts of villages as conquered territories. We call on the international community and organisations to come to our aid,” she said.
The BEWDA president called on the state and federal governments to come to the aid of Shonong district and other communities affected by herdsmen killings.
Jambol also called for the provision of adequate security in Shonong district and other affected communities.
“Provision of relief materials and rehabilitation of traumatised people should be channelled to enhance good living for the victims,” she added.
While demanding justice for the victims, Jambol urged the government to ensure that herdsmen who occupied their land were sent away.