By Jide Afolabi, Jos
Youths in a peaceful protest in Jos today, Tuesday demanded justice for the 29 people killed in a classroom at LEA Primary School, Nkiendonwro area of Miango District of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State in 2017.
The youths under the aegis of Miango Youth Development Association, Irigwe Youths Tudun Wada, Jos and ‘We Remember’ #JusticeNow groups gathered and protested around the Plateau State Government Secretariat Junction under tight security carried different banners with different inscriptions to press home their demands. Some of the banners read: “Two Years Without Justice, We Remember 29 People Killed by Fulani Militias. We Demand Justice Now!”, “We Remember 15 October 2017. #Justice Now. Stop the Killings”, and “Two Years Remembrance of 29 Women, Children, Men Killed in Classroom in L.E.A Primary School, Nkiendonwro, Bassa LGA, Plateau State, Nigeria on 15th October 2017. #NottheNumber. #NigeriaLiveMatters. #DemandInvestigation. #DemandCompensation. #NigeriaMourns” among others.
The youths who put on customised black clothes with the inscription, “Nigerian Mourns” alledged that after Nkiendonwro genocidal attack, 44 more communities have been attacked by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Irigwe Chiefdom in Bassa LGA, Plateau State with 377 people killed.
While addressing the media, Spokesman of Miango Youth Development Association who doubles as the Convener, ‘We Remember’ #JusticeNow alleged that the military ushered the killers of the 29 people into the classroom where the people were taken refuge.
He said, “It is two years since this incident which affected our people psychologically and socio-economically. Many are still traumatised and displaced. Beside the killings, 34 houses, and 2 Churches were burnt, academic activities stopped and their only means of livelihood were destroyed.”
The protesters called the attention of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Minister of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, Senate President, Speaker House of Representatives, Plateau State Governor, Speaker Plateau State House of Assembly for the arrest, detention, investigation, and court-martial of all uniform personnel that were involved in the dastardly act of that day. They should also be subject to criminal prosecution according to the law of Nigeria. After the investigation, the report should be published and justice must be done. Compensation needs to be given to all the affected victims. The government should put more effort into protecting the lives and properties of rural areas.
“After the Nkiendonwro genocidal attack, 44 more communities have faced different forms of attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Irigwe Chiefdom, Bassa LGA of Plateau State. A total number of 377 persons have been killed, houses, schools, and Churches burnt and farms were destroyed. Individuals, Non-Governmental Organisations, International Organisations, etc. should please come to our aid as we are overwhelmed and this is not a road we can travel on our own”.
In his own comment, the President, Irigwe Development Association, IDA, Hon Sunday A. Abdul, said that it is unfortunate that 29 people were killed and the authorities acted as if nothing happened.
He said, “We wrote letters to the Federal Government and State that something must be done. Farmers cannot go to the farm. Schools are closed and children left unattended. We are making noise because 29 souls were lost. I plead on behalf of the Irigwe nation that people must be protected to go back to their normal lives. Although security is there but we must be fully secured. Other tribes are been compensated but we are not. Are we second class citizens?”
He described Irigwe people as reliable, dependable and productive people.
Not less than 29 people were killed in a classroom at L.E.A Primary School, Nkiendonwro area of Miango District of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau in 2017.
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