The Berom ethnic nationality of Plateau State have urged the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar to caution Islamic bodies under his leadership in the country to stop promoting ethnic hatred and branding the Berom as Christian terrorists and cannibals.
The group lamented that notable Islamic bodies such as Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN), the Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI), under the watch of Sultan, had insulted the Beroms and described them as ‘Christian terrorists’ and a ‘bunch of evil and deadly ethnic supremacists whose brazen show of cannibalism’.
Vice President of Berom Educational and Cultural Organisation (BECO), Da Iliya Choji Kim, in a press statement issued, in Jos, on Saturday, said this while reacting to the press conference addressed by one Prof. Salisu Shehu and Ishaq Akintola for the Islamic bodies with captions such as, ‘Matters arising from the Plateau’, ‘Stop Berom Terrorists now’ and ‘Berom Christians, the real terrorists’ take serious exception to the allegations.
“It is unbelievable and indeed ungodly that highly regarded Islamic bodies under the leadership of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, can fall to the low ebb of becoming abusive on fellow citizens.
“These bodies have chosen to malign and unscrupulously label an entire ethnic nationality as “… a bunch of evil and deadly ethnic supremacists whose brazen show of cannibalism astounded the world…”.
How we wish that these Islamic bodies stood up for true religion that considers human life sacred and upholds the tenets of justice to all for the promotion of peace and peaceful coexistence without prejudices to ethnicity, religious differences or social status.
“Of recent, the Berom nation has been inundated with an avalanche of hate speeches, write ups, press releases, conferences and even protests by some groups and individuals within and outside Nigeria.
“Notable among them are the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN), the Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI), with various captions such as, ‘Matters arising from the Plateau’, ‘Stop Berom Terrorists now’ and ‘Berom Christians, the real terrorists’.
“The Berom nation takes serious exception to this smear campaign which is aimed at demonizing the Berom, heightening religious hatred and intolerance.
“To us, these narratives are largely blatant lies, others contradictory in terms, misleading or merely the figments of the authors’ imagination.
“It is obvious that the purpose of all the write-ups is to change the well known narrative of sustained Fulani aggression and territorial expeditions against the Berom.
“It would appear logical from their narration therefore, to continually brutalise, dispossess, displace and massacre innocent and defenseless peasants, women and children.”
He said none of these accounts made reference to the past and present losses of the Berom in terms of lives, crops, farmlands, sacked communities and the displaced currently languishing in make-shift camps as IDPs.
“We dare to ask, who killed Rev. Bitrus Manjang, the then retired Vice President, Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) in Rim village?
“Have the killers of Distinguished Senator Gyang Dalyop Dantong or that of Hon. Gyang Fulani, the then Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly been brought to justice, not to talk of the killers of a First Class Chief in Bokkos LGA, Da Lazarus Agai, the Saf Ron Kulere?
“Have we forgotten so soon, several massacres (genocide?) of Dyenburuk (Dogo Nahawa), Gashish and Riyom in June 2018 and most recently, Loh-Pamdyet, where thousands of innocent lives have been wasted?
“We find it very dubious to isolate the unfortunate disappearance of Major Gen. Idris Alkali and treat it outside the context of security challenges bedeviling Plateau State now for nearly two decades.”
He said the Beroms have lost about 400 persons in four months in Riyom, Barkin-Ladi and Jos South Local Government areas of Plateau state during herdsmen attacks.
Da Kim insisted that no matter the terror and killings of the Berom people, not a single inch of Berom land shall be ceded to Fulani occupiers and their cohorts, neither will the people succumb to the wishes of paid political surrogates and thugs called Rotdunna Sekat, who called for the deposition of a highly revered First Class Royal Father, His Majesty Da (Dr.) Jacob Gyang Buba and the arrest of former Plateau State Governor, Distinguished Senator Jonah David Jang as accomplices to the attacks and killings in their own land against their own people.
“More intriguing is the ignorance being feigned that there are no Muslims amongst the Berom when in fact, thousands of them are indeed devout Muslims, with some highly placed as Sheiks and Khadis.
“How on earth do we excuse Professor Salisu Shehu and Ishaq Akintola if they both claim not to know that the urban setting and cosmopolitan nature of Jos, the Plateau State capital demands a higher level of responsibility on any statements involving criminality?”