The National President of the Mwhagavul Development Association, Sir Joseph Gwankat has come out to call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to declare MACBAN as a terrorist organisation for genocide against the peace loving people of Mangu and Plateau State who have been targets of attacks in the last 3 months that has claimed over 500 lives and displaced over 1000 individuals out of their ancestral homes.
Mr Gwankat made the clarion call at a press conference in Jos at the NUJ secretariat as he calls on concerted efforts from Federal and State Government in sharing intelligence to stop the dastard acts of annihilation of the Mwhagavul people.
The text of the press statement reads:
Press Conference by Sir Joseph Gwankat, Makaman Panyam, National President Mwaghavul Development Association, (MDA) Plateau State Nigeria on July 8th, 2023 at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre, Jos.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Press.
Good afternoon. You are welcome to this Press Conference organized by the National body of the Mwaghavul Development Association (MDA).
Once again, it is with a deeply heavy heart that the Mwaghavul Nation under the MDA is addressing you, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, and indeed the general public on the true situation in Mwaghavul land and other parts of Mangu Local Government Area (LGA) due to the continuous terrorist attacks on our villages and our people by killer Fulani herdsmen.
Needless to take time to introduce who we are and the core values we stand for as these have been amply stated in the Press Conference we held on 19th May, 2023. However, for the purpose of emphasis, kindly permit me to reiterate that the Mwaghavul Nation located in Mangu LGA of Plateau State prides itself not just as the agricultural hub of Plateau State, but also as a key commercial centre, only next to Jos, the State Capital. These no doubt came about as a result of the peaceful and hospitable nature of the Mwaghavul people, who are the predominant people in the LGA, and who have welcomed all people from diverse ethnic nationalities across the length and breadth of our country, including the Fulani.
It is instructive to still reemphasise that the Mwaghavul people have been living in peace with their neighbours from time immemorial, and have never attacked any of them for whatever reasons. However, recently, Fulani terrorists chose us as a target for mayhem without any form of provocation. Preceding the attacks which started from April till date, shortly after the governorship election, several cases of kidnapping, farmland destruction and other criminal activities perpetrated by these Fulani terrorists were recorded in different parts of the LGA, yet our people refused to be provoked. It is, therefore, surprising that our attackers who have destroyed our villages and killed our people in large numbers are the ones that are crying most after inflicting so much pains and agony on our people. This evil act is being perpetrated under Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN).
*Attacks on Our Villages*
Our villages deserted due to the attacks by the Fulani militia have become grazing fields for the Fulani herders. The following is the list of our villages attacked by Fulani terrorist herdsmen based on districts (as of 7th July 2023) and the number of people killed.
*Bwai District:* Murish, Dungmunan, Kubat, Tim Naanle, Pil, Fungzai, Manja, and Chisu. Number of people killed – 70
*Kombun District:* Fungkipang, Nting, Number of people killed – 5
*Mangu District:* Jwaktumbi, Kantoma, Mangul, Alohom 1, Alohom 2, Gongon, Dan Hausa, Kikyau 1 and 2, Gudum, Tyop, Kwaskipanleng, Gaude, Bure, and Ntam. Number of people killed – 70
*Bungha District:* Jwak Raas. No death
*Panyam Branch:* Changal, Kombili, Washna, Jwak Chom, Larkas, Fushi, Kwahas, Dangdai, Atuhun, Adep, Ajing, Daika, Dikong, Lakopal, Kogul, and Niyes. Number of people killed – 30
*Pushit District:* Lakasi, Gwet 2, Gwet 1, Mutong, Keptul, Gung, Pyantuhul, Kus Hi, Nbwor, Vodni, Pwaskop, and Nten. Number of people killed – 17
*Kerang District:* Konji. Number of people killed – 8
Total Killed: 204. Many are still missing.
Total Villages Attacked: 53
These facts are verifiable
*Miyetti Allah’s Spurious Allegations and the Need to Discountenance Falsehood*
Once again, Miyetti Allah through one Muhammed Salihu Musa, Secretary of MACBAN, Mangu LGA, and Nura Abdullahi, Chairman, MACBAN, Plateau State, have gone viral on social media with spurious allegations, claiming that Operation Rainbow operatives attacked them in Mangu LGA, suggesting that they acted in support of our people who have been living at God’s mercy. We find this not only amusing but also a calculated attempt to paint black the image of the State Government, under the visionary leadership of His Excellency, Barr. Caleb Mutfwang, and to suggest that it is biased in handling the situation. Let it be known that these antics of MACBAN are not new. They have made spurious claims in the past, and they are still making it on the real situation in Mangu LGA. It is therefore not surprising that the same aggressors who have been having their field day on our people will still turn around and claim innocence, just to hide their heinous crimes. We challenge MACBAN to provide evidence of their claims. We want to state in clear and unequivocal terms that MACBAN and their terrorist members are simply running away from their own shadow, due to the heinous crimes they have committed in Mwaghavul land. It is in the public domain that MACBAN has been hiring foreign mercenaries to attack communities, including ours.
Let us place it on record that on Wednesday 5th July, two (2) women were attacked and killed in Mper and Millet in Kombun District. The following day Thursday, 6th July, 2023, there was an attack on Kogul and Five (5) persons were killed, thereafter, the attackers advanced on Niyes killing two (2) persons. These callous and unwarranted killings infuriated the youths who spontaneously pursued the attackers in self-defence.
We, therefore, strongly suggest that the Federal Government should declare MACBAN a terrorist organisation because of the heinous crimes that its members are perpetrating in various parts of Nigeria.
We urge the Government to take full responsibility of educating children below the age of 10 who have lost both parents as a result of the attacks, while arrangements are made for the SS3 students whose WAEC Exams were disrupted as a result of these attacks.
We want to state categorically, that the Mwaghavul people are a peace-loving people who have never attacked anyone, and will never attack anyone. We are determined to live in peace with our good neighbours and good ethnic nationalities we are privileged to serve as their hosts. However, one thing we cannot afford to do is to fold our arms and watch our villages being overrun by terrorists and our people being killed by the same terrorists. For Muhammed Salihu Musa and his MACBAN, who have orchestrated a campaign of genocide against our people, we admonish them to desist from doing so and genuinely embrace peace, and stop playing the victim. It is in the public domain that they are the aggressors. At the moment, we are still mourning our death and losses as a result of their continuous aggression on our people, and they should allow us to do so without adding salt to injury. We enjoin our good people to remain calm and peaceful, just as they have always been, even in the face of provocation by their attackers.
We have never left our ancestral land in pursuit of any perceived enemies to attack and kill them but enemies of the state have mobilized themselves at Regional, National and Sub-national levels to attack us. We urge our people to remain steadfast, firm and unshakeable in the defence of our ancestral land. Our brothers, sisters, women, children and relatives who have died from these attacks have paid the supreme price – May their souls rest in peace. Amen.
Thank you all and God bless you.
*Chief Joseph Gwankat (KSM)*
*_National President (MDA)_*