Posted by News Express | 4 June 2014 | 3,682 times
A camp where Boko Haram insurgents and armed Fulani herdsmen are trained has been discovered in Rim, Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The camp was exposed by men of the state vigilante group and villagers in Riyom and Barkin Ladi local governments, who immediately alerted security agencies in the state.
Already, the communities have sent a petition on the matter to the State Police Commissioner, Mr. Chris Olakpe, asking him to act fast before the insurgents strike.
According to them, they discovered the camp when their peace-loving Fulani neighbours, who were invited to join the training exercise, declined the offer and reported the matter to the community leaders.
The police command spokesman, ASP Felicia Anslem, said she was not aware of the petition because it could have been sent directly to the office of the CP.
According to the concerned villagers, the training camp is located behind a rocky hill in Rim near Riyom.
In the petition to the CP, the villagers said:
“The alarm has become necessary so as to attract security agencies’ attention to our plight: The whole of Bachit district is under serious risk of gunmen attack if nothing is done to improve security surveillance in the areas.”
A member of a vigilante group in Riyom, Dangyang Bulus, said:
“We discovered their plans because the Fulanis living with us were invited to join them in their training camp. They were asked by the operators to go home and prepare to join them later but they refused to go back to the camp.
“So, it is our Fulani neighbours that revealed the secret to us; we have communicated this to the police and security agencies in charge of these areas, but from all indications, they are not ready to go there. Some of them said we are raising false alarm.
“These gunmen can strike anytime and we don’t know where and when they will strike that is why we are raising this alarm. If this planned attack is not prevented, we will hold the security agencies responsible for any loss of life and property because past attacks by these gunmen have claimed casualties in hundreds.”
A copy of a petition sent to the police commissioner by members of Shonong community indicated that several of their men had been killed while working on their farms last month.
The petition signed by Shonong Youth leader, Yohanna Ciroma, described the situation in the area as ‘silent terrorism’, saying: “Our communities have been under siege by insurgents and armed Fulani men.”
A member representing Riyom constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. Daniel Dem, alluded to the danger his people are exposed to.
Hon. Dem, who commented on the insecurity in his constituency said:
“This is an act of terrorism against my people; they can no longer go to farms because they are consistently being attacked by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
“The Fulanis come into our farmlands and will deliberately lead their cattle to graze on crops, if you complain you are killed instantly. Close to seven of my constituency members have been killed in Rim village of Riyom in the past two weeks by attackers on their farms; this has forced them to abandon their farm lands.”
•Adapted from a Nigerian Pilot report. Photo shows Boko Haram insurgents.
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