Odeni People Slams Nasarawa Police Over the Killing of 16 Persons by Fulani Gunmen

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Rabiu Omaku

Blames Al-Makura, State Emergency Agency for Not Comming to their aid

The people of Odeni Magaji community in Nasarawa Local Government of Nasarawa state has blamed the state Emergency Management Agency (NASEMA) for neglecting the crisis-ridden community, A concerned indigent from the community, Honorable Isaiah Koki Agah (JP) ,The former councillor representing Odeni Magaji Ward expressed displeasure over the hand in-glove of the chief executive, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura to bring succour to displaced persons in a communal conflict that erupted Odeni Magaji and its environ.

Agah in a letter of complaints titled “NASARAWA STATE UNDER FIRE “buttressed that the displaced Odeni people are sleeping in the open in spite of the bitten effect of winter as under aged and the aged are exposure to cold, It also revealed that no single support came from the state Government, He averred that the affected communities are now shadow of themselves as the few people that remained in the crisis prone area are sleeping with their eyes open for the fear of the unknown.

He lamented over the attacked meted on people of the surrounding communities especially over the destruction of a wooden bridge that linked the community with Agbashi by Fulani Herdsmen, The erstwhile councillor who was also a victim of the recent Fulani attacked called on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to come to their rescue by providing shelter to Internally Displaced Persons seeking refuge in neighboring states of Benue and Kogi.

Agah said Odeni Magaji with its surrounding villages of Ogeni,Gidan Musa, Okpamu, Ambu, Akpata, Ekah, Angwan-Agatu, Angwan-Hausa, Gidan Adikwu, Angwan Kabawa, Gidan Adure, Imbigin, Ole Ogwueje, Kwadere and Gidan-Dandare with a population of over 90,000 people were scattered to crisis -free area of Agbashi, Doma, Nasarawa, The headquarter of Nasarawa Local Government.

Hon.Agah alongside people of the affected communities accused the Police Public Relation Officer, ASP Ismaila Numan for misinforming the public’s (press) that the first attack on Odeni Magaji was a reprisal attacked by Fulani’s following the abduction of three Fulani boys as untrue and blatant lair.

“The people of Odeni Magaji just woke up on the 4/01/2016 and saw a report on online media (NAIJA.COM) news accredited to Nasarawa state police command through the mouthpiece ASP. Ismaila Numan addressing a press conference that what the Fulanis did to Afo people was a reprisal attack, The same Numan told the press that only two people of Afo were killed, The spokesperson knows the criminals but failed to effect their arrest”.

The concerned indigent accused the police for being one sided,” The police called for peace meeting between them (the police) and Fulani gunmen to settle the crisis without the people of Odeni Magaji to state their own side of the story, The people of Odeni Magaji wants to put their records straight, ASP Numan is a Fulani man, What did you expect from him?

“Let us draw the mind of ASP Ismaila Numan to the 23th /6/2012 ,One Joshua Agi ,An Afo farmer was killed in his farm and it took the community two days to discover the corpse ,The search team apprehended two herdsmen within the vicinity of the death bodies in possession of guns, Those criminals were arrested and handed over to the police, We want the PPRO to produce the killers of Joshua Agi, Numan should stop blaming Odeni Magaji community that they killed the two Fulani’s, on the 25th/06/2012.

“The same Fulani herdsmen killed one Bako Osanga and Ochefeje Osanga in their farmland but they go scot free and nobody reacted but we lodged a report before the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Nasarawa Local Government”.

Other affected people of Odeni Magaji community expressed concerned over the crisis that lasted for one week without any stringent measure taken to quell the situation, They also revealed that Fulani gunmen launched an attack on 9/01/2016 at about 1:00pm,The also fingered Fulani herdsmen as the person behind the attack of 3rd/01/2016 at about 8:30am,The whole districts were under siege starting from Gidan Musa ,an Agatu settlement which terminated at Odeni-Magaji.

“At about 1:00pm the same Fulani gunmen launched a renewed attack on Ogeni, Imgbini and Gidan Musa leading to exchange of gun fire between Fulani gunmen and two policemen sustained severe gun injuries and they presently on admission at Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia.

This medium gathered that police has take to their heels, The disappearance of the police, it was gathered may not be unconnected to the gun fire exchange between Fulani herdsmen and the police, A community leader in Odeni Magaji who spoke on phone buttressed that the resistance by the people of Gidan-Musa to allow the intrusion of Fulani gunmen to launched an attack to neighboring Benue state made the Fulani herdsmen to destroy Gidan-Musa to debris while people of Gidan-Musa flee to Odeni Magaji which another reason for Fulani’s attack on Odeni.

BURNT HOUSESHe added that palace of the paramount ruler of Odeni Magaji was burnt to ashes. It was gathered that a naval officer, commanding Eastern Naval command, Suleiman Apoche whose rank was not made clear as at press time also lost his house in the conflict.

At the time of filling this report, there was another report of renewed attack by Fulani herdsmen on Thursday 14/01/2016; this brings the number of attack to three in one month.

The Executive secretary of the Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Abubakar Idris while reacting to the accusation levelled against the state Government over the none distribution of relief materials to the affected communities debunked the claim, He said the state Government released the sum of N1m for the purchased of relief material ,He further said the money was used to procured 20 bags of rice ,10 bags of gari,2 cartoon of soap and palm oil.

Other relief material are 100 blankets,200 plastic buckets,30 bags of semovita,5 bags of sugar,5 bags of salt,5 bags of beans and 200 mats, “On reaching Odeni Magaji youths rejected our offer, “It did not stopped there instead youths bungled part of the relief materials we brought for onward distribution to the affected persons. They  took away some buckets and other valuables.

When asked about the number of people killed in the subsequent attack, Dr. Idris Abubakar said the agency is yet to come up with an authentic statistics as he said his agency in no distance time would release the figure of those killed, When asked about the number of houses razed down, He declined comment, But our sources confided that no fewer than 38 persons perished in the three consecutive crisis.

“We were about distributing relief material to Odeni Magaji and in the process somebody was crying and wailing as he approach us, And all we could had was gun shot from nearby and we were advised by elders from the community to leave, And that was how we left with the relief material”, Said Dr. Idris.

All efforts to speak to the chairman of peace committee headed by the Andoma of Doma, HRH, Alhaji Ahmadu Aliyu Oga to comment on the issues at hands hits brick wall, this is as onlookers in the state advised the committee on peace to carry everybody along during the distribution of relief materials to affected communities, saying by so doing it will save a lot.

KILLED PERSONAnother advice was that the Community Based Conflict Approach of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura should be sustained, a stakeholder called on Al-Makura to applied practical approach by involving all the affected and warring communities in the peace process.

While others suggested that youths in most of the crisis-ridden communities to be part and parcel of community watchers that will always vivid information to security agents and constituted authorities.

The Police Public Relation Officer, Ismaila Numan when contacted denied the allegations as a mere figment of their imagination,” I’m a Fulani man, no doubt about it, But it wasn’t a yardstick for me to favour my tribe, I’m not in the feild, While reacting on the purported death toll in the first attack which the people of Odeni Magaji read on an online outfit (NAIJA.COM) saying the PPRO revealed to press that only persons were killed.

Numan averred that 7 persons were reported to have been killed by Fulani gunmen, While fielding questions on the whereabouts of two Fulani boys that killed Joshua Agi ,Bako Osanga and Ochefeje Osanga were missing from the custody of police, The PPRO debunked the report, Saying he was not in Nasarawa during the incident that occurred on 23/6/2012 ,

Numan said he wasn’t in Nasarawa when the killings happened, for that I will not comment on what I’m not in the picture of, I’m still serving in my old post, He added.

While clearing the air on the lean number of policemen drafted to the scene of the crisis, The spokesman maintained that sizeable number of armed policemen were drafted to quell crisis in Odeni Magaji and its environs, He buttressed that policemen were deployed to Agbashi, Odeni Magaji and other violence-prone zone.

The image maker said police in Nasarawa state has taken frantic steps in ensuring that the Community Based Conflict Approach mechanism sees the light of the day, He added. He confided that no fewer than 7 persons were killed by Fulani herdsmen while 2 policemen sustained various degrees of gun injuries.

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