By Clifford Ndujihe, Kingsley Omonobi, Marie-Therese Nanlong & Gift Odekina
At a time the outrage trailing the Christmas eve massacre of no fewer than 195 persons in Plateau State is yet to abate, with none of the perpetrators apprehended, the Middle-Belt Forum, MBF, said yesterday that the insurgents have written Pushit community in Mangu LGA on a fresh attack.
MBF Deputy National President, Stanley Kavwam, who disclosed this in an interview on Arise TV, said the terrorists were planning to launch the attack on the Pushit community on December 29 (today), disclosing that anonymous persons dropped letters of previous attacks on Mangu LGA.
Kavwam spoke as the United Nations and Northern Caucus of the House of Representatives and Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda, yesterday demanded a thorough investigation and probe of the attacks.
This is even as the national president of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Bishop Francis Oke, urged President Bola Tinubu to deploy the full force of federal might to end the spate of insecurity, especially in Plateau State, saying peace in the state could no longer be postponed.
Also, the convener of the Initiative for a Better and Brighter Nigeria, IBBN, Prophet Isa El-Buba, called on the President to halt his holidays in Lagos and return to address insecurity by sending a comprehensive bill for state policing to the National Assembly, even as Mr Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim sought security reforms.
Last week, about 25 Plateau communities suffered coordinated attacks by gunmen who killed no fewer than 195, injured more than 3,000, displaced 10,000 and razed 1,290 houses.
Military knows culprits, their hideouts —Kavwam
Kavwam claimed the military was aware of the identity of the attackers and their hideouts, adding that some communities were still being invaded.
“While I was driving down from Jos to this place, I received a call. A letter was sent to my own village by the terrorists that the attackers were going to invade on December 29,” he said.
Continuing, he said: “In all the attacks that were orchestrated, there was a letter to that effect that was dropped by an anonymous person, intimating the residents of Mangu LGA that there would be attacks.”
Asked if they informed the security forces of the letters on impending attacks, he said over 30 distress calls were made to security personnel before the recent attacks in Plateau.
He said most of the communities attacked in Plateau were Christian settlements, adding that the operation usually lasted for about 24 hours without security intervention.
Kavwam said security agencies knew that an attack was coming before the Christmas eve massacre.
His words: “They received about 37 distress calls, that is operation Safe Haven or the Joint Task Force. About 37 distress calls! Yet nothing was done.
“All the casualties that we are talking about are in a community inhabited by Christians and the security forces know the attackers, they even know their hideouts for two decades.
“They know where they orchestrate the attacks because that autonomous community, called Manga, is at the foot of Bokkos hills, bordering Wamba in Nasarawa State to the south.
“It’s this autonomous community these attacks are orchestrated from, just the same way we have in the Mandara hills in Borno State.
“For instance, the military relocated an entire community of over 11,000 people, leaving the entire Dangoa road free for the terrorists to operate.
“Section 14B of the 1999 Constitution as amended stipulates that the welfare and security of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. These attacks could last for as long as 12 to 24 hours and there is no security presence whatsoever.
“Pushit community is in Mangu LGA of Plateau State. A letter was sent today (yesterday) to Pushit that they are going to attack on the 29th.”
He added that despite President Tinubu’s directive to service chiefs to intensify security in the affected communities, “nothing has changed and the attacks are still going on and there is no response from the security authorities.”
Security Agencies Arresting Innocent Victims – Group
Meanwhile, a Plateau socio-cultural group, Bokkos Local Government Like-minds Association condemned what it described as “the despicable attacks that the herdsmen group continues to commit in various parts of Bokkos Local Government Area and some parts of Mangu and Barkin Ladi local government areas, which resulted in loss of lives, injury, and property burnt and looted and many others displaced from their ancestral homes on December 23, 2023.”
A statement signed by the group’s leaders, Dr. Silas Nguwap and Mr. Musa Ngyak, read: “The association is horrified by the recent massacre perpetrated on these communities; Kambar Peli, Ndun, Ngyong, Tahore, Chirang, Sanyang, Tuje, Sundul, Mai Yanga, Mutfet, Ndares, Bodel, Yalya Nono, Butura Campany, Gawarza-Mangor etc in Bokkos local government area. It reiterates its full solidarity with the people and Government of Bokkos local government area and expresses its deep sympathy to the families of the victims… SOURCE