Plateau Fulani Evacuation Plan:Group doubts sincerity of STF



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Anxiety has continued over the arrangement made by the Special Task Force towards the evacuation of Fulani pastoralists from Barkin Ladi and Riyom local government areas of plateau state.A 48-hour order given to the Fulani to quit the area led to an uproar which made the STF to explain their plan to the affected people.

According to  a group known as the ‘The Pastoral Resolve’ which addressed the press on Monday, “The uproar generated in all parts of the country and the entire West and Central Africa by the 48 hours ultimatum given to the Fulani has made the STF to offer additional clarification on their purported intentions as follows:   that they will undertake an operation  in the area in search of weapons;  that the Fulani people are to temporarily evacuate the area in line with International Humanitarian Law and that they  will return after the operation; and that temporary camps have been provided for them to move to.”

But the group said it doubts the sincerity of STF. “This clarification has further exposed the insincerity of the STF, which we are convinced, are acting the sentimental script of the Berom-led Government of Mr. Jonah David Jang. Thus, Nigerian citizens an indeed the international community cannot be deceived with this explanation,” the group said.

 

It added that “If above explanations are true, then we call on the STF and/or the Plateau State Government to invite national and international Journalists, representatives of the Berom and Fulani communities,humanitarian organisations, NGOs and relevant stakeholders to: inspect the temporary camps that have been provided for the Fulani Pastoralists that have been given the 48 hours ultimatum and that will have the capacity to accommodate about 10,000 people that will be affected;inspect the temporary grazing fields provided for the over 20,000 cows owned by the

Fulani Pastoralists in the area or show the feeds they have procured to feed the animals under close enclosures for the period they are to stay in the camps; and provide a time-frame for the Military operation, indicating when people will go back to their villages to take care of their crops at this critical moment of the rainy season.”

 

Read the  full  text of the pastoralists’ statement below:

 

PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE PASTORAL RESOLVE ON MONDAY 16TH JULY 2012 IN RESPECT OF THE ULTIMATUM GIVEN TO FULANI PASTORALISTS TO VACATE THEIR VILLAGES IN PLATEAU STATE

 

Gentlemen of the Press, as you are all aware the Special Task Force (STF) had given Fulani Pastoralists communities in five villages of Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government until the evening of today to vacate their villages with all their properties.

 

The uproar generated in all parts of the country and the entire West and Central Africa by the 48 hours ultimatum given to the Fulani has made the STF to offer additional clarification on their purported intentions as follows:   that they will undertake an operation  in the area in search of weapons;  that the Fulani people are to temporarily evacuate the area in line with International Humanitarian Law and that they  will return after the operation; and that temporary camps have been provided for them to move to.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, this clarification has further exposed the insincerity of the STF, which we are convinced, are acting the sentimental script of the Berom-led Government of Mr. Jonah David Jang. Thus, Nigerian citizens an indeed the international community cannot be deceived with this explanation.

 

If above explanations are true, then we call on the STF and/or the Plateau State Government to invite national and international Journalists, representatives of the Berom and Fulani communities,humanitarian organisations, NGOs and relevant stakeholders to: inspect the temporary camps that have been provided for the Fulani Pastoralists that have been given the 48 hours ultimatum and that will have the capacity to accommodate about 10,000 people that will be affected;inspect the temporary grazing fields provided for the over 20,000 cows owned by the

Fulani Pastoralists in the area or show the feeds they have procured to feed the animals under close enclosures for the period they are to stay in the camps; and provide a time-frame for the Military operation, indicating when people will go back to their villages to take care of their crops at this critical moment of the rainy season.

 

Anything short of this is a clear indication of insincerity on the part of the STF and the Plateau State Government.

 

We use this medium to appeal to all Nigerians and human right organisations to assist in pursuing the Nigerian security agencies: to remove the blockade they have mounted on all roads coming out of the Fulani villages since 7th July 2012 so that the Fulani people can access markets and medical services; to stop henceforth the burning of Fulani people’s houses as was the case on Saturday 7th July 2012 when 12 houses were burnt, on Monday 9th July when over 30 compounds with over 100 houses was burnt and Wednesday 11th July when one compound with six houses was burnt; and to stop the ongoing indiscriminate arrest and intimidation of the Fulani people in the affected areas.

 

We are compelled at this critical stage to appeal to His Excellency, Mr. President to as a matter of urgency, intervene and ensure fairness and justice to all segments of the Nigerian society. It is Mr. President’s prime constitutional responsibility. We appeal to Mr. President to set-up a high powered Committee to examine the situation and coordinate the restoration of peace, order and social harmony within the affected areas.

 

On the part of the Berom and Fulani communities, they should reflect and recognize that they are greatest losers in these conflicts. All other people in Jos or elsewhere instigating them have never come and joined them during fighting, nor have they ever contributed to the rebuilding of their houses when they are destroyed nor have they ever replaced their killed animals. The communities must immediately devise strategies for rebuilding peaceful and harmonious coexistence. Our prayers and appeal is that the security agencies and the Plateau State Government should not sabotage these community efforts.

 

We appeal to the Fulani Pastoralists in the affected areas to remain calm within their residences to avoid exposing their families to danger since they have no place to go and all roads into and out of their villages have been barricaded by the STF. Humanitarian organisations should kindly extend support to those people whose houses have been burnt while State and National emergency agencies must positive react to the humanitarian needs of all victims.

 

We extend our appreciation to the Northern Governors Forum, media and civil society organisations and well meaning Nigerians who have been concerned and spoken against this negative actions, as well as those whose efforts and interventions is improving the security situation in the affected communities.

 

Thank you very much.

 

Saleh B. Momale

Ag. Executive Director

For: The Pastoral Resolve

 

 


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