Women and Youth Protest in Plateau, Nigeria
Hundreds Angry About Continued Fulani Militant Violence
The women alone, numbering over 100, were dressed in black and carrying placards that read phrases such as, “JUSTICE4DAFFO,” “Arrest and Prosecute Killer Herdsmen,” “Ransack Fulani Settlements,” “Where Is State Emergency Management Agency,” and “We Have Been Made IDPs in Our Homeland,” among many others. Many of these statements were meant as demands presented to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly.
Mrs. Comfort Matawal, the leader of the group, said in a letter to the House, “It is no longer news that Daffo District in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State was recently hit by violent attacks by persons believed to be Fulani herdsmen that have been residents in the communities for years. This has led to 32 deaths, 10 severely injured, 10 missing persons, and over 7000 displaced.” However, Bokkos isn’t the only LGA affected in Plateau State either. There have been at least 20 attacks in the state that have killed more than 100 people in 2018.
Another group that was present at the protest was the Middle-Belt Youth Arise group. This is a group that represents the young men of Plateau State. The spokesperson of the group, John Eche, said, “We are saying enough is enough. All ad hoc military operations in Nigeria henceforth should have a time limit. Our military is mighty. They have good track records. They go on peace-keeping abroad and everything goes fine. We call on them to be patriotic. The youth further call on [the] federal government to immediately end the rising pogrom, and ensure arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of the heinous crimes and bring them to justice.”
In response to the protestors, the Speaker of the House, Hon. Peter Azi, commended the groups for staging a peaceful rally to demonstrate their concerns. He stated, “The government of Plateau State is trying its best to ensure that the security issue is resolved based on its five pillar thrusts, of which security is one.” He continued, “As a House, we will relay all your demands to the Executive Governor of Plateau State for necessary actions.”