Our Deserted Villages Are Now Grazing Fields for the Fulani Herders – MDA President

By Ralph Madugu

“Our villages deserted due to the attacks by the Fulani militia have become grazing fields for the Fulani herders.”

These were the words of the National President of the Mwaghavul Development Association, MDA, Chief Joseph Gwankat, while addressing a press conference in Jos following the latest attacks on some communities in Mangu LGA of Plateau State.

Giving the statistics of the communities affected by the latest attacks, the MDA President said, “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.

Sir Joseph Gwankat

“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.”

On what MDA described as “Miyetti Allah’s spurious allegations” that operatives of Operation Rainbow attacked their members in the locality, Chief Gwankat advised the public to discountenance the allegation, adding that the Association found such allegation not only amusing but a calculated attempt to paint black the image of the Gov. Caleb Mutfwang’s administration and suggest that it was 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.” 

While making a case for children orphaned by the attacks, the MDA leadership called on 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.”

Reiterating its commitment to ensuring peaceful co-existence among communities, the MDA President stated that the Mwaghavul were a peace-loving people, hence, they were determined to live in peace with “our neighbours and good ethnic nationalities we are privileged to serve as their hosts. who have never attacked anyone, and would never do so.

“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.

Crops destroyed in some Communities by Suspected herdsmen in Mangu LGA

“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.

He enjoined the people to remain calm and peaceful, just as they have always been, even in the face of provocation by their attackers. “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.”

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