Gyang Bere, Jos
Criminals suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have destroyed six classroom blocks of LEA Primary School Shong II in Bachit District of Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State, carting away roofing sheets and building blocks.
Fulani herdsmen have forcefully taken over farmlands belonging to the Berom natives and erected new structures, with houses belonging to the inhabitants destroyed and leveled down.
Shong village was one among the 26 communities sacked and taken over by Fulani herdsmen in Riyom LGA following a series of unabated midnight attacks and killings that culminated in the deaths of former Senator Gyang Dantong and ex-Majority Leader of Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. Gyang James Fulani, on July 8, 2018 during a mass burial of the victims of herdsmen attack.
Chairman of the Local Government Area, Hon. Emmanuel Danboyi Jugul, who responded swiftly after he was petitioned by the affected villagers, visited the spot at the weekend in the company of Commander of Special Task Force (STF) Sector 9, the Divisional Police Officer and other security agencies, who banned the movement of people around the school.
Hon. Jugul expressed displeasure over the criminal act and said the Fulani herdsmen, currently occupying the village, did not report the criminal incident to the local government authority.
He said a reconciliatory committee would be set up between the Berom natives and the Fulani herdsmen with a view to finding a lasting solution to the lingering issues that has stopped natives from returning to their ancestral land.
Jugul admonished the warring communities to eschew violence and embrace each other for the sake of peace in line with the vision of Governor Simon Lalong.
District Head of Bachit, Da. Gyang Dalyop, said the community woke up and saw the primary school destroyed and the roofing sheets and building blocks removed by suspected Fulani.
He said what bothers the community most is the forceful taking over of their farmlands, which were abandoned during the attack. They have since called on security to prevail on the Fulani to stop their criminal encroachment.
Ardor of Fulani community in Bachit, Alh. Bello Usman, blamed security for leaving the primary school unprotected, and said he was surprised when he found out the school had been vandalised and the roofing sheets removed.
He said the local government chairman should urgently set up the committee to find a lasting solution to the lingering issues to ensure the people co-exist once again like it used to be in the past.
“We don’t know who destroyed and removed the roofing sheets on the LEA Primary school,” he said.
“Those who carried out the act should be punished.”
Commander of the Special Task Force, Sector 9, Lieutenant Colonel Etsu Ndagi, said he will investigate why troops that were stationed at the school during the crisis were redeployed without the knowledge of the villagers.
He noted that the facility is an important one which cost government a lot of money for the construction, and said they cannot watch while criminal elements destroyed the school and carted away with valuables.