Plateau: Killer Herdsmen force 2,000 orphans out of school

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Photo: A Policeman consoling a woman at an attack scene - representative image by MK

At least 2,000 children are out of school following last year’s violent attacks that claimed over 200 lives in Plateau State, Officials say.

Majority of these children were orphaned by the June 2018 violence that lasted weeks in the Central Nigerian Gashish District, Mr. Francis Chong, a Community leader told Journalists, Sunday.

“Many of them currently in IDP camps cannot go to school because their parents were killed in the attacks.

“The government schools in the attacked villages that even offer free education were destroyed by the attackers.

“Virtually every public facility – schools, hospitals were destroyed during the attacks,” said Mr. Chong, the Chairman, Gashish Community Development Association.

Worse still, Chong said the attacked villages are still inaccessible due to the presence of the killer herdsmen.

He said, “This camp (Anguldi Jos IDP Camp) started with over 3000 people from 12 communities including three that only fled out of fear.

“204 of those that fled out of fear from those three were mobilized back home by the government and the STF last year December.

“However, some of them were forced back to camp after the houses they attempted renovating to serve as temporary IDP camps within the villages were destroyed by the herders overnight.”

This according to the Community leader frustrates the IDPs’ dreams to return home to their normal lives.

See: Plateau Senator seeks eviction of herdsmen occupying displaced people’s homes

The Senator representing Plateau North in the Nigerian National Assembly, Mr. Istifanus Gyang has asked the Nigerian government to evict the herders forcefully occupying the attacked communities in line with its resettlement plan.

At least 130,000 people were displaced from 11 villages, says the Plateau Indigenous Development Association of Nigeria, PIDAN.

About 30,000 of them were as of December 2018 in 18 IDP camps across Plateau State, records from the Church of Christ in Nations, COCIN show.

The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong on June 12 vowed to resettle all the IDPs in one year’s time.

Security is however yet to improve in the villages despite government claims of establishing a Special Police Force Barrack in Gashish, the District worse-hit by the attacks.

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