AN URGENT CALL FOR ACTION TO STOP THE GENOCIDE TAKING PLACE IN IRIGWE LAND OF BASSA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF PLATEAU STATE BY FULANI MILITIAS.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the press. I am pressed once more for the umpteenth time, on behalf of the ECWA Executive and the ECWA Family worldwide, to address the world, about an unfortunate event taking place right now on Plateau State of Nigeria as follows:
For over 21 years, the Irigwe people of Miango, a predominant Christian community, have been under attacks from Fulani Malitia that resulted in loss of lives, properties and farmland. The last 2 weeks, especially from Sunday 23rd July to Monday 2nd August 2021 has been the worst nightmare of the entire Irigwe land. The Fulani Militia, with every of their might have invaded not less than 15 villages, burnt and destroyed not less than 405 houses and churches inclusive, displaced about 20,000 people and destroyed thousands of hectares of farm crops. The main town of Jebbu Miango and its surrounding villages such as Kpachudu, Kpetenvie, Nche-Tahu, Tafigana, DTV and Zahwra are completely burnt down and displaced. Irigwe villages in Kwall and some in southern parts of Kaduna State have experienced similar attacks within the same period. Some of these villages include; Isho, Zirshe, Chuweh, Ntireku, Ghey, Kangbro, Dundu and Hwraa.
The IDPs from these villages are just camped within Miango and Kwall town. The situation is terrible and need urgent attention. Yet, even these two villages of refuge are presently threatened with genocidal attacks from the militias.
What is so sad and inexplicable is that, many of the villages, where these killings and burnings are taking place, are basically located behind the 3rd Armored Division Barrack of the Nigerian Army, yet, these militias are allowed to continue their heinous murders and carnage without any intervention by the Nigerian Army and other security agencies. This in the least, is very fastly eroding the confidence of the populace in the military and security agencies, as unbiased protectors of all, devoid of tribe, ethnicity or religion.
We call on the state and federal governments and security agencies to intervene and prevail on the Nigerian Army and all security agencies to stop this genocide. The government must rise up to their responsibility of protecting lives and properties for all citizens irrespective of their tribes, ethnicity or religion, otherwise the country would fastly degenerate into total anarchy.
We also pray that this incidence will not end as usual, with no single AK-47 wielding militia being arrested, persecuted and brought to justice, while the indigenous locals, who tried to defend themselves with crude instruments, are paraded as aggressors, as had happened in some past incidences. Justice must be done and seen to be done.
Meanwhile, we also call on all the federal and state governments to, in the immediate, send relief materials to the displaced and distressed victims of this crisis, many who are hungry, homeless and helpless. The government should also deposit funds with selected reputable hospitals, for the treatment of the many victims of this crisis, who have sustained injuries of various degrees.
We are further calling on all well meaning Nigerians, to be their brothers’ keepers and open up their homes for the displaced persons, provide support for food, water, clothing and medical services to all the victims.
As a predominant Christian community under attack, the body of Christ within Nigeria and the world at large is particularly and deeply affected with this crisis. We call upon the entire Christendom to return to God in deep confession, repentance, supplication as we uphold our Brethren in prayer. God is watching and listening to our prayers and supplications. We should not give up calling upon Him and depend on Him wholly for this situation to be brought to an end, especially that all human authouries have woefully failed us. The gates of hades shall not prevail against the church of God in Jesus name! (Matthew 16:18). We should like king David in 1Samuel 30:6, continue to find strength in the Lord!
Nevertheless, ECWA in obedience to Matthew 5:9 injunction, shall as much as God gives us the grace, continue to work with the government, NIREC, security and all other agencies for lasting peace that is premised on equity, justice and fair play. We have no option than this, because the Spirit of Christ Jesus compels us.
May the gracious Lord hear and answer our prayers and come to the rescue of our dear nation from the control of very wicked and evil people in Jesus name!
Rev. (Dr.) Stephen Baba Panya