Five days after the massacre in Jos, the Fulani settlers alleged to have carried out the attack have given a detailed explanation as to why the sad incident occurred.
Speaking to journalists yesterday in Abuja, the Fulani leader and secretary Sultan’s Farmer/Cattle Rearers Conflict Committee, Sale Bayari, said the recent mishap was caused by failure of both the Plateau State Government and the Presidential Committee on Jos Crisis to clearly address the losses of the Fulanis in past crisis.
Bayero, who claimed to be a none stakeholder in the crisis, also said it was unfair for the police to continue to hold the 49 Fulanis arrested so far, adding that what happened was a complete case of jungle justice.
He said: “Some of us have been forced to live like outlaws in Jos. Why would a government turn its own responsibility upside down? Under the circumstances of what has been happening in Plateau State, some people just have to die.
“Any society that refuses to be just and fair shall become a jungle where only jungle justice shall operate like the case in Plateau State today. There are some people who are very conversant with the jungle. They sleep with snakes, gorilla even at night. So if you turn your state to a jungle state, this is what you get. So far, we have suffered most. Indeed, majority of our killings were carried out in areas where there was strong government presence.”
Bayeri further noted that it was completely unjust for government and the media to be silent when the Fulanis lost hundreds of their kinsmen most of whom were children and women, only for everyone to hastily condemn them now.
“When our people were killed or were being killed, we can’t remember seeing Governor Jang, the Gbong Gwom, the Information Commissioner, members of House of Assembly of the areas, neither did anyone of them say a word about what happened to us. Up till today, they are behaving as if nothing ever happened to us and you expect this to just pass away and forever? In Kuru Karama when Aljazeera was beaming the corpses of 150 children and women strewn into the village streets, where was Governor Jang and Gyang Buba? Who has been arrested? Who provided the five Hilux Jeeps that brought the killers? Who has made any effort to fish out the killers. Haba!
“The herdsmen have been at the receiving end for no reason whatsoever and it is, therefore, most baffling to hear government now exaggerating the figure of those who lost their lives in what is called reprisal attack at Dogo Nahauwa in order to give the world the impression that those who lost their lives in this incident outweigh any other that happened to other people such as the Fulani
“We observe with great dismay and outright taking of sides by the government through its spokesman, Mr. Gregory Yenlong, Commissioner for Information, by saying that 500 were killed while the Police Commissioner was categorically saying 109 people were confirmed killed. Why is the Government denying our own casualties and the loss of property, which we have documented and published in the media while trying to convince the world to accept their own speculation as fact?
“Why didn’t the government challenge us to prove the loss of 215 people in the January 17 Jos crisis? Why didn’t the government respond to our petition to the Federal Government through the force CID that we wrote to only to deny that what took place was a reprisal attack as stated by the police. Whether it was a reprisal attack or not, between 2001 to the recent crisis, the Berom have killed over 365 herdsmen in cold blood in Jos South, Barkin Ladi and Rayon Local Gocervment Areas.
“Because the Fulani are local herdsmen who are not beneficiaries of the state, national and international media, deaths of our children, women and men never occurred and were never reported and the purported reprisal theory was never justified. If, we may ask, why then this attack took place where it happened and nowhere else outside the three Berom local government areas that we alleged we lost 215 people? We want an answer from Jang.
Bayeri, therefore, called on the Federal Government to halt the indiscriminate arrest of herdsmen in the country, cautioned that if these acts of injustice to the Fulanis continue there would not be a way out of the crisis.
“The Fulani abhor injustice and they shall seek justice through any means legal. We therefore call for the fair trial of all those arrested before only a federal high court and by the office of the federal Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and not by the Plateau State government headed by a Berom government and Berom Attorney General whom the Fulanis hold squarely responsible for the unfortunate crisis.”