Islamic Fulani cattle herdsmen have killed nine Berom tribe Christians and injured three others in Rim village in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State, Central Nigeria. All nine who were members of Church of Christ In Nations (COCIN), were buried on Thursday 9 November 2017.
The driver of a navy-blue Volkswagen Vento station wagon, which usually carries passengers over the load limits, said it is a miracle he is alive. At about 7:30 pm in the evening on November 7th, as they were returning from a nearby market, “When we started the journey, there were 15 in number. They (Fulani Herdsmen) surrounded the car and started a rapid fire into the car. I was in the car and petrified. Seven people died instantly and others later died in the hospital,” he said.
Plateau State Police Command spokesman Terna Tyopev confirmed, “Eleven people who were returning from a weekly village market of Makera were shot dead at about 7:30 p.m.,” he said. “No arrests yet, but investigations are ongoing, and we shall definitely get to the roots of this.”
Emmanuel Jugul the local government chairman. said. “I have complained severally, in my domain, there are many places my people cannot go there. Like in Mahanga village today, no person can go there. The people have been displaced by the Fulani. Why can’t the federal government stop the killings?”
An elder in Rim, Gyang Dahoro, identified those killed as Felix Ngwong, 34; Gyang Emmanuel, 29; Chuwang Bitrus, 31; Daniel Nini, 52; Dagam Danbwarang, 29; Rueben Danbwarang, 25, Sunday Danbwarang, 52; Dachollom Shom, 37; and Daniel Shom, 45.
Dahoro said the injured Dalyop Bwede, Darwang Samuel and Toma Sunday were receiving treatment at the Plateau State Specialist Hospital in Jos.
The Rev Dacholom Datiri, the COCIN President in a statement said, “We are saddened again by yet another attack on members of our church. We have continued to be forced into mourning the death of some our members for no just cause. Whatever it is, our faith is dependent on Jesus Christ, our Saviour.”
The chairman of the Riyom Council, Emmanuel Damboyi, said, “I think the Fulani leaders are not ready for peace, they should be arrested and questioned for these killings.”
In a press statement issued on 11th November, the Berom Educational and Cultural Organization (BECO) said it is “greatly disturbed by this wave of unprovoked and unwarranted onslaught.” The Organisation said, “It is now clear to BECO that the enemies of peace are bent on continuing their massacre of Berom probably with the hope that they will eventually displace and dispossess us of our God-given land. This, we shall certainly resist!”
The organisation said because all its petitions and complaints have been ignored, “Berom nation is now constrained to call on the United Nations, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, ECOWAS Commission and all other international bodies that promote and defend freedoms, liberties, rights and identities of indigenous and autochthonous peoples to treat the case of the Berom on the Plateau as a typical case of genocide and systematic ethnic cleansing.”
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, Global Christian News and Priest, Anglican Diocese of Jos
Image Credits: CC/Google images/UN