The Mwaghavul Development Association (MDA) through her National President Sir Joseph Gwankat, disclosed that twenty thousand persons (20,000) twenty communities were displaced and 120 people were killed and buried in recently Mangu attack.
The MDA President made the disclosure on Thursday in a press conference held at the NUJ Secretariat Jos the Plateau State capital.
Sir Joseph Gwankat the MDA President stated that the Mwaghavul nation of recent has been under intense attack for the past one week by suspected Fulani gun men leading to the death of many people, mostly women and children while many others were displaced.
Some of the villages that have been under attack are; Kubwat, Fungzai, Aloghom, Ntam, Ligit-Lubang/ Sabon Layi, Bungha, Jwakji, Wash a, Jwat-Maitubi, Murish, Kikyau, Gonging and many others.
In his address, the MDA President noted with utter dismay the incessant attacks on communities in Plateau State and Nigeria at large noting that same was a systematic and deliberate ethnic cleansing of minority tribes in Nigeria.
Gwankat said that Mwaghavul nation has facilitated peace with its neighbors by developing trust and right attitude towards them. “The Fulanis living in our community are perceived extended members of our families because of our mutually beneficial economic activities.
“Besides, our own Fulanis speak Mwaghavul in addition to adopting some of our cultural ways of life. Out of trust, we buy and keep our cattle with them. In some cases, we have intermarried with them.
“Although cultural integration between us is low, there is no doubt that some level of integration is happening. Why should we fight with such a people”?
MDA noted that never in history did they ever witness violent conflicts between the two communities as they have witnessed in the last two decades. The Association added that although the experience was not unique to it, the Association wondered why such a beautiful and peaceful relationship was turning sour.
The Association also said that it has observed the participation of foreign mercenaries in a conflict with a people it felt oblige to protect. “Although it is generally believed the Fulanis violence against us is not unconnected to armed proliferation, we strongly feel we have never been a threat to them.
“We have therefore continued to wonder why such a beautiful relationship could turn sour to a point of war where their kinsmen at continental, National and sub-national levels are mobilized with lethal weapons to fight an unjust war against us”.
The MDA equally revealed the mobilization and involvement of about 45milliom to 50million Fulanis worldwide against individual ethnic Nationalities whose populations are only in thousands saying it’s not only unjust but an agenda for ethnic cleansing and land grabbing.
According to MDA, it is curious to also note the relationship between violent conflicts and solid mineral deposits in minority areas of Nigeria.
It however, added that though,this postulations may need further investigations to established the veracity, they have generally increased fears and suspicions concerning the possibility for a peaceful considering the surge of violent conflicts being orchestrated by Fulanis against the Mwaghavul nation and other minority groups in Plateau State.
Consequently, MDA called on its people to rise and defend themselves and their land. “We are calling on our people to arise and defend yourselves, your God-giving land and properties with all that you have.
“We will not leave our land of heritage, this is the only place that we can call our own; we have no any other place to run to”.
Gwankat further stated that the humanitarian was overwhelming and pathetic, adding that people were either squatting with relatives, neighbors, in Churches and other available public places.
“They need food, toiletries, medication and places where they can rest their heads. There is trauma and psychological depression.
“There is fear of even their safety where they are taking shelter as the threats spread across the Local Government”.
The MDA President said that the unfortunate and ugly development was beyond the Association and Mangu Local Government Council. In the light of the above, the MDA sought for help from spirited individuals, Corporate Organizations, NGOs and from the International Communities to help ameliorate the suffering of the people they are still going through.
MDA also called on government to rise up to its responsibility by taking immediate steps to end the incessant callous killings and destruction of lives and properties in the land which is the primary responsibility of government.
On the way forward, MDA made the following recommendations:
“Government must take immediate step to facilitate the return of all persons that have become refugees in different IDP Camps by reconstructing their homes and providing security for them as well. Otherwise, they won’t be able to go back and continue with their farming activities.
“The re-admittance and reintegration of the killer herdsmen into our land again if will be at all should be facilitated by an NGO or any agency of Government and at the cost of Government.
“Government should take over full responsibility of educating children below age 10 who have lost both parents as a result of this conflict, while arrangements made for those SS3 students whose WAEC Exams were disrupted as a consequence of this conflict.
“The state Police has demonstrated low capacity and political will to secure minority tribes in Nigeria, hence we strongly recommend for state policing in all states and communities in Nigeria.
“Security agencies should build synergy with our community people to secure their families. The integration of the Vigilantes and hunters Association into the state Operation Rainbow may assist in information and proper protection of our people.
“Government must crest a special court to dispense justice between conflicting communities which will always help in nipping some conflicts before they escalate”.
The MDA further encouraged its people remain steadfast, firm and unshakable in the defence of their land. “We have never left our land in the pursuit of any perceived enemies to attack and kill them but enemies of the state mobilize themselves at Regional, National and sub-national levels to attack us”.