The Chairman of Association of Local Governments (ALGON), Emmanuel Loman revealed that the Fulani herdsmen had threatened that they would brutalise the people of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, if the All Progressive Congress (APC) should be victorious in the just concluded General Elections.
The indigenes of Barkin Ladi, Riyom and Wase local government areas had taken to the streets on Monday, May 11, 2015 in protest of the incessant killings by the Fulani herdsmen in the area, calling on security agencies to arrest attackers and ensure justice.
Loman who is also the Chairman of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area mentioned that the reason for the crises was totally territorial, while giving an account of the horrifying attacks in the areas and the inability of security operatives to secure the lives and properties of the residents.
“There have been attacks for the past two weeks in Barkin Ladi and Riyom local government areas. We had a break from the attackers but the killings are recurring.
“Actually before the elections, it was made known to us by the Fulani that if the APC won, it would bring on stream their government and we will see what they will do to us.
“You see them killing people from hamlet to hamlet around the area. The unfortunate thing is that these are people who came, our parents allowed them to stay with us.
“It is purely a territorial issue; the killings and the system adopted are like those of terrorists in Maiduguri.
“The attackers wear military uniform; they come with sophisticated weapons and open fire on villagers.
“We have called on the Federal Government that we have terrorists in our midst, let them come and cordon the place and search but nothing has been done,” Loman stated.
Loman further bemoaned that the security agencies had ignored his people, and revealed that the Fulani herdsmen had sponsors from the police, army as well as the Government.
In a sad state of mind he he remarked that the weapons of the Fulani herdsmen were much more advanced than that of the security agencies.
Loman stated “At times, soldiers will come; see the Fulani at the other side with sophisticated weapons and the soldiers will have no choice but to go back. We thought they will report to their headquarters for help but nothing has been done about the situation.
“I am not indicting them but the truth must be told. My finding about the situation is that some people are compromising.
“Do you remember that a President in this country once mentioned that those sponsoring terrorism, some of them were even in his cabinet?
“There is nothing to hide, a Fulani man in the bush can pick his phone and call somebody in The Presidency, and there is a link to these things.
“Even within the security agencies, there are some collaborating with them. That is why if you look at it, who is a civilian to attack soldiers on special duty and kill two or three and you think you can go scot free.
“It has been happening and nothing is done about it; it means something is happening somewhere. It is either some of the security agents are compromising for religious reason or they are doing so for money.
“Unless we are straightforward in this country, unless we go by the rules and regulations, we will be doing havoc to ourselves,” he said.
Emmanuel Loman revealed that the attacks has had a lasting effect on his plans towards his LGA, due to the fact that resources meant for carrying out developmental projects had been to diverted into making sure there is security for his people.
“The attacks have tampered with my plans for the local government because resources are channelled to security. Because of dwindling allocation from the Federation Account, salaries are not being paid in many states.
“But in my local government, salaries payment is up to date; this is as a result of non-interference with our funds by the government of Governor Jonah Jang,” he stated.
On his stand concerning the incoming APC led administration in his state, in his words, “If the APC is claiming it will obey the rule of law, then nobody can tamper with democratically elected structures.
“The governor- elect in Plateau, Barrister Lalong, has said he will not tamper with democratic structures but what we discovered is that he has pressure from his party members that the local government councils should be dissolved and he, as a lawyer, has a professional body that is watching with keen interest,” he said.
Finally, Emmanuel Loman pleaded on the Government to look into the crises as the constitution doesnt not give provisions for persons to through the use of force take what does not belong to them.
“The constitution of this country does not give you the audacity to forcefully take what does not belong to you.
“We are all Nigerians and free to live anywhere but the moment you find yourself in an area, you must obey the laws of such area and live peacefully with the indigenes, but when you collect what belongs to them forcefully, I think that will not augur well.
“Government must do something about this,” He said.