Gyang Bere, Jos

The Berom natives of Shonong in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp say both federal and state government have failed to address their condition which has hindered their return to their ancestral homes.

The President of Shonong Development Association (SDA) in Plateau State, Mr Davou Jambol, disclosed this during the burial of the traditional ruler of Shonong, Da Timothy Kavei Dalyop, who died after a brief illness after several attacks that consumed and displaced several people in the community.

He noted that after the June 23 attacks that killed dozens of people and displaced hundreds including women, children and the aged, the Federal Government pledged the sum of N10 billion to the victims for rehabilitation to their ancestral homes but government has not redeemed that.

He said that the IDPs were still languishing in pain and agony in IDPs camps, in addition to the recent quit notice issued to the IDPs residing at Gen Sciences hall, Anguldi, in Jos South Local Government Area.

“We express worry over the government’s inability to create an enabling environment for the return of the natives to their ancestral homes and rebuild their ruined houses and continue their livelihood,” he said.

“We are not even begging the government to rebuild our houses, since they have failed in their promise. What we are asking for is: let them ensure our security and we would come back and build our destroyed homes.

“We are also appealing that steps be taken to broker peace between the neighbouring communities. That the road from Tahoss which terminates in Shonong be completed, as it will further increase the sense of security and a project that will have a positive multiplier effect on the communities along the way.”

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Jambol explained that because of the eagerness of the people to return home, the community in collaboration with a non-governmental organisation known as NINCHI Group Community Housing, sponsored by World Bank- assisted Community Social Development Project and Plateau Community and Social Development Agency, built four blocks of houses for the people to return and stay there temporary, before building their houses.

He said the community had equally donated land for the government to build a police station for the security of the people, yet the government had not indicated any readiness to safeguard the lives of the people on their return.

President of Berom Women Development Association (BEWDA), Ngo Florence Jambol, said the attacks on Plateau had exposed some of the women who are mostly farmers to vices that were hitherto unknown to them as they continue to fend for their families.

She appealed to the government to act urgently as the vulnerable women and children have now become soft targets for traffickers.

The Transition Committee Chairman of Riyom LGA, Mafeng Gwalson explained that the attacks on communities were pathetic and the government was concerned about their plight.

He noted that the government was talking with the people that matter to ensure the return of the displaced people to their ancestral homes,  and appealed to the people of Shonong to be patient as there were short and long-term plans for their resettlement.

Gwalson said he was doing everything within his power to curtail a recurrence of the ugly situation.