‘Soldiers told us they were not ordered to stop the people killing us’ — Plateau Monarch
Highness, The Bra Ngwe Irigwe, Rt Rev Ronku Aka, has grieved the tragedy that befell his people in the Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau state after gunmen suspected of being herdsmen invaded their communities.
Some security personnel stationed in the communities during the attacks, according to the monarch, told the residents that they had no orders to repel the intruders.
This was mentioned by the monarch when Rev Gideon Para-Mallam, President of the Para-Mallam Peace Foundation, led other leaders of the non-governmental organisation on a sympathy visit to his palace in Miango.
On Friday, the group had delivered humanitarian supplies to internally displaced people.
The traditional ruler claimed that the destruction in his kingdom had highlighted the governors’ and council chairmen’s limitations as chief security officers in their different areas of control in the country.
Aka said, “I don’t blame the local government chairman in Bassa or the governor of the state over the calamity that has befallen my people.
“At peace meetings, the governor will give order but the security men will go and do a different thing.
“During the recent attacks in my communities, the soldiers and other security operatives were around. As the invaders were carrying out the attacks in Jebu Miango and advancing to other communities we expected them to confront the invaders and stop the destruction going on but that did not happen.
“When I enquired what was happening, some soldiers cried to me that they did not receive the order to repel the attackers on the communities.
“Some of them who expressed frustration over the situation wondered the essence of holding guns which they could not use and left the scene while the attackers continued with their destruction in the communities.
“If the security agents were deployed and allowed to do their job, may be, the attackers would not have succeeded with their evil plans and my people would not be suffering what they are experiencing at the moment.
“But we don’t want more deaths in the communities. I have told my people not to retaliate what was done to them but we need justice going forward.”
While condemning the event, Para-Mallam, President of the Gideon & Funmi Para-Mallam Peace Foundation, said the violence in the villages must not be allowed to continue.
He urged the government to step up efforts to safeguard lives and property.
Gunmen suspected of being herders attacked some towns in the Bassa Local Government Area, killing over 40 people and setting fire to over 400 homes.