A group, Pastoral Resolve, has said that the evacuation order by the Special Task Force (STF) to Fulani Pastoralists communities in five villages of Barkin Ladi and Riyom local government areas of Plateau State is in bad faith. The action shows that the STF is insincere, it said.
The acting executive director of Pastoral Resolve, Saleh B. Momale, in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday, said the STF was acting based on the directive of the Plateau State government.
If the STF and the Plateau State government were sincere, it should have invited stakeholders to "inspect the temporary camps that have been provided for the Fulani pastoralists that have been given the 48 hours ultimatum, and that will have the capacity to accommodate about 10,000 people that will be affected".
He continued: "They should have inspected the temporary grazing fields provided for the over 20,000 cows owned by the Fulani Pastoralists in the area or show the feeds they have procured to feed the animals under close enclosures for the period they are to stay in the camps; and provide a time-frame for the military operation, indicating when people will go back to their villages to take care of their crops at this critical moment of the rainy season."
The group, however, called on President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene and ensure fairness and justice to all segments of the Nigerian society and also set up a committee to examine the situation and coordinate the restoration of peace, order and social harmony within the affected areas.
Momale further appealed to humanitarian organisations to support the people whose houses have been burnt while state and national emergency agencies should positively react to the humanitarian needs of all victims. He urged them to appeal to the security agency to remove the blockade it mounted on the roads leading to Fulani towns, stop burning their houses and indiscriminate arrest of Fulani people.
He said: "We appeal to the Fulani pastoralists in the affected areas to remain calm within their residences to avoid exposing their families to danger since they have no place to go and all roads into and out of their villages have been barricaded by the STF."