|Fulani Herdsmen With Sophisticated Weapons|
(PUNCH) – A member of the House of Representatives, Istifanus Gyang, has said that killer Fulani herdsmen should be profiled and classified by the Federal Government as insurgents and be treated like the Boko Haram members.
Gyang, representing Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, stated this in an interview with The PUNCH in Jos.
He was reacting to a statement by a socio-cultural organisation, the Plateau Patriotic Youth Movement, asking him to face his legislative business and desist from playing petty politics with the crisis in the state.
Gyang had moved a motion on the floor of the House condemning the fracas between soldiers attached to the Joint Military Task Force, codenamed Operation Safe Haven, and three residents of Sopp community in Riyom LGA on October 19, 2017, in which three youths were shot.
The legislator had accused the soldiers of “sexual harassment and deliberate shooting.”
The PYYM had asked him to “deliver practical dividends of democracy rather than play politics.”
But Gyang said, “Anyone or persons saying that the attacks and killings in my constituency are a basis for partisanship and politicking must either be insane or is simply being insensitive to the bloodbath that has been witnessed all this while.
“I take exception to such unfortunate insinuations. We must not trivialise issues that have to do with the lives of a people that are being hunted and killed as men hunting wild game. It is indeed sad and very unfortunate.
“Today, one quarter of Barkin Ladi LG and one third of Riyom LG are under occupation by the very persons that were welcomed and accommodated by their Berom hosts. The narrative that the attacks are simply conflicts between farmers and herdsmen is no longer tenable.
“The truth is that there is a quest by the herdsmen to forcefully acquire land and territory for occupation. Under this unfortunate development, the Nigerian state and government, which have the constitutional responsibility of protecting citizens from aggression have left the victims at the mercy of the marauding herdsmen. These attacks have to be profiled and classified as acts of insurgency and treated with the same response as Boko Haram has been handled.”