Plateau Violence

The Plateau State Emergency Management Agency says at least 35,000 villagers were displaced in the recent attack by unknown gunmen.

The gunmen, suspected to be herders, had attacked villages across three local government areas, killing at least 100 persons.

Newsmen visited the affected villages and discovered that residents have all fled the area.

Juni Bala, SEMA director, search and rescue, said there are 20 internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps in the local government areas affected.

“We have 20 camps from the recent attack,” she told newsmen on Saturday. “We have over 35,000 IDPs for now. We are discovering more IDPs as we go round.”

Some of the IDPs who spoke to newsmen on Friday in Barkin Ladi said they have been “abandoned” by the state government.

“We have not received any help from anybody since we came here,” said a camp official who chose to remain anonymous.

“This food you are seeing is from what we contributed among ourselves. No government official has even visited us here not to talk of bringing us food. Anything you see here was from the villagers and also from organisations like Red Cross.”

The SEMA director told newsmen on Saturday that the agency has now begun distributing relief materials across the camps.

“The government is giving out relief materials right now. We are now at Jos south, Barkin Ladi and Riyom LGAs. We are distributing food and non-edibles – mats, beddings, and a few toiletries,” she said.

She said the relief materials will be distributed to the IDPs on a daily basis but in small quantity and that “SEMA officials are on ground and are currently attending to the villagers”.

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