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Total Occupation: ‘Wives Of Herdsmen Now Harvest Our Crops’

By Marie-Therese Nalong
Jos – Plateau State in the North Central of the country is blessed with diverse tourism potentials, clement weather, exotic fruits and accommodating people. These should naturally improve its internally generated revenue but that is not the case as Plateau, considered a “Civil Service State” is constantly plagued with one crisis or the other.
The crises has moved from Jos, the State capital to the hinterlands where the narrative has taken a new dimension.
In the villages, hitherto “unknown gunmen” now called “suspected herdsmen” terrorized the indigenous tribes, uprooted them from their ancestral homes and took over their property. Despite the continued lamentations of the people and promises by the authorities of bringing perpetrators to book, not much has been done to ensure justice for the victims.
Following the seeming failure of the government, there are now calls for self-defence by the people. Those in support of the call for self-defence maintained that the country was on the brink of acute food shortage as farmers were being killed with cattle grazing on their farmlands while the farming communities have been sacked from their farms.
Surviving farmers have now been accommodated in the Internally Displaced Persons camps spread across four local government areas of the State. Since the killing of over 200 people and displacement of thousands of survivors about a month ago, especially in Barkin Ladi and Riyom local government areas of the State, herders have continued to harvest crops found in the farms and destroying others thereby causing the survivors, especially those who took loans to cultivate the crops more trauma.
In the past two weeks, residents of the attacked communities, especially in Garshish District and Dorawa Babuje all in Barkin Ladi local government area have reported cases where “wives of our herders neighbours invaded our farms, harvesting our crops for themselves while their husbands grazed their cattle on the harvested farms.”Click to continue reading.

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