Yet to be identified gunmen last week shot a community leader in Bokkos Local Government Area, Plateau State, hours after he reportedly cautioned a herder from indiscriminate grazing.
Mr. Joshua Mafulul, the Mai Ungwa of Sangwak village, located 5kms west of Plateau State University, Bokkos had been threatened by the herder he cautioned on the farm.
“On the 18th of October 2019, I was on the farm and the herder came attempting to access a harvested maize farm through a narrow path that passed between newly planted farms.
“I cautioned that his cattle were going to destroy those tender growing crops, advising him to take an alternative.
“He confronted me instantly, saying the neighboring Fulani herdsmen were tolerating us too much that was why we could say anything.
“I sensed he was out for trouble and i allowed him to have his way.
“Then on 24th October, three identified herdsmen came with guns and shot me in my house, leaving me for dead,” Mafulul told MK.
Indiscriminate grazing by the local herders, the village chief said had become constant in the community.
“This could cause a war,” Mafulul worries, calling law enforcements to ask “fast”.
The Nigerian constitution provides stiff punishments for trespass, assault and murder, but enforcement has seemed weak since the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999.
Observers have blamed the situation on weak judicial systems.
Recent calls for the judicial autonomy for efficient performance have yet to be considered by State authorities.