Mwaghavul Development Association (MDA) in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State has called for immediate action to address the ongoing violence in their communities, which they believe may be linked to deep economic interests.
The National President of MDA, Chief Joseph Gwamkat, said the return to their ancestral homes was non-negotiable.
According to him, if nothing was done to address the situation, there will be “hunger and poverty” in the land, especially given the current economic climate.
He said, “40 per cent of farm produce from Plateau State comes from Mangu LGA, and the ongoing violence was a threat to their livelihoods.”
Gwamkat said the MDA strongly recommended the “establishment of state policing” in all states and communities in Nigeria, as well as the “creation of special courts” to dispense justice between conflicting communities.
He added, “The presence of the National Emergency Management Agency or the Plateau State Emergency Management Agency has never been felt, even as we speak now.”
Also, he thanked Governor Caleb Mutfwang, who is barely four days into office, for embarking on a fact-finding visit to Mangu LGA and the sites where people have been displaced.
At the press conference, which took place in Abuja on Thursday, MDA was joined by Stefanos Foundation, where the Advocacy Manager at the Foundation, Ms. Fatima Njoku, said the alarming increase in violence across the nation is a cause for concern, especially as Nigeria is not at war.
According to her, “From eyewitness reports and testimonies of direct victims across the board, we can say that the attacks are carried out in literally the same style, with attackers dressed in similar fashion and victims with similar profiles. This has happened in Agatu, Guma, Logo in Benue State, Kagoro, Zangon Kataf, Kajuru, Kafanchan in southern Kaduna, Bassa, Riyom, Barkin Ladi, and now Mangu in Plateau State, and the list goes on.“
Stefanos Foundation has recorded 217 instances of attacks from 34 states across the Federation between January and April 2023 alone.
“From these attacks, we recorded 1,872 deaths, 714 abductions, and 65 injuries. We find this very alarming for a country that is not at war.
“This new administration has come in at a time when the security of lives and property, which is the primary purpose of government, is at its worst in Nigeria’s history. We bring to the attention of the government that this is an area that calls for urgent action.”