The Miango Youth Development Association says over 333 of its rural farmers in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State were killed by herdsmen in three years.
Over 1500 houses, several schools and Churches were burnt down by the attacking herders since 2017, spokesman of the group, Mr. Lawrence Zongo said, Wednesday.
The attacks in 46 villages also led to the destruction of farmlands and other assets, leading to widespread poverty and hunger, Zongo said in a press statement.
Instead of earmarking billions of naira for its suspended Ruga settlement program, the Nigerian government should compensate to rebuild the destroyed communities, he said.
The IDA spokesman said, “Federal Government should rebuild the burnt Houses first and compensate affected farmers who are the persons of concern not building Ruga Settlement for Fulanis in the host community of farmers who are traumatised as a result of the attacks by armed Fulani militias.
“The Fulani attacks in Irigwe Chiefdom also affected business activities, industries, schools, places like Miango Rest Home, Kent Academy, ESS Miango & others were all affected. They don’t received guest & customers as it were before & that affected the district too. Government should also consider such places too by giving them grants.”
No relief from government
So far, no relief has reached the affected communities except the interventions of the Red Cross, Amnesty International and Churches among others, Zongo said.
“Despite all the attacks, federal government did nothing in assisting affected persons of concern to resettle them back to their original homes, if not for the help of Churches, NGOs & foreign organisations like International Committee of Red Cross for humanitarian services & Amnesty International who have been speaking for the district demanding for justice, no any effort by the government to resettle affected farmers from their communities.”
The statement asks the State Governor, Simon Lalong to openly reject the Ruga program.
Lalong had however announced his intentions to key into the program to promote modern livestock farming in the state.
He has however said that the program will be remodeled as ranching to suit the peculiarities of the State.