Soldiers arrest, shoot people after Fulani attacks, Plateau youths cry out

By Samuel Ogunsona

Soldiers posted to maintain peace and order in Bokko Local Government of Plateau State are instead arresting and shooting victims of earlier Fulani attacks, a Youth group has said.

In a statement tagged “Human Rights Abuse by the Military in Plateau State”, the Bokko Youths said after Fulani attacks which led to 120 deaths in Bokko the soldiers instead have started arresting kinsmen of the victims.

“It is with pain in our hearts that we write concerning the continuous violation of Human Rights by the military sent to foil the attacks that started on 23rd December 2023 in Bokkos Local Government of Plateau State” the Bokkos Progressive Youth Movement said in a statement signed by its President Christopher Luka Tulladem and made available to Irohinoodua on Sunday.

The group said the latest invasion by the soldiers was informed by the death of a Fulani man whose corpse was found in Bokko area.

The youths said since the December 23 Fulani attacks, the families of victims have witnessed continuous arrest, detention, and brutalization of victims who managed to escape the horror of the attackers.

They argue that the victims have suffered incapacitation and bullet wounds from the same army expected to maintain peace.

“The rate of this violation has taken a dramatic dimension since Wednesday 3rd January, 2024 with the continuous dehumanizing and brutal treatment meted out on our youths(All of Christian Faith and IDPs) on account of a corpse suspected to be a Fulani found somewhere” it said.

The Youths said while they condemn all criminality in whatever guise, the manner of operation by the military seems to target a particular faith.

They regretted that while they are mourning the death of over two hundred people in Bokkos ( All of Christian Faith) over the attacks the military in Bokkos failed to contain, “even when they had prior intelligence from the Governor of the State (As mentioned by Sen. Abdullah I Ningi on the floor of the National Assembly), the failure to make any substantial arrest even after it happened is a matter of concern to us. We are shocked to see the manner of dehumanizing and brutal treatment meted out to these innocent people over the alleged killing of a Fulani”

The Youths raised some questions:

  1. How many many perpetrators have been arrested and dehumanized like this over the genocide in Bokkos?
  2. Is a Fulani’s life more important than other Nigerians?
  3. When has the Nigerian Military ceded its role of protecting territorial integrity to arrest and incapacitation of innocent civilians?

It said that arrest and investigation are purely a Police affair adding that the Army should quickly excuse themselves and allow police to do their constitutional duty.

  1. What happens to the military gadgets and equipment meant to assist in times like this? Are they all not in good condition at the time of these attacks?
    And they can only be available when possibly it’s the other way?

The Youths said “We are fast losing our confidence in the Nigerian Military to be fair to all.
Again, we must add that these attacks happened in our villages, currently, our people cannot access their farms to irrigate their farms, we thought the military would have carried out clearance operations in those villages so that people could at least access their farms, but the issue is the reverse. The concentration of the military is in Bokkos town, showing their might on the victims of attacks while the remnants and crops of the victims are either looted or burnt by the terrorists.”

The Youths called on President, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinibu (GCFR), The President of the Senate, Sen. God will Akpabio, National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, and the Service Chiefs to ensure the immediate release of those arrested and order for the medicare of those shot.

They urged the President to review the recruitment process into the Army in the last 10 years to ensure it did not favour people of a particular ethnic stock

They asked President Tinubu to set up a high-powered committee to investigate the numerous cases of human abuses by the military and punish those found culpable.

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