The paramount ruler of Irigwe ethnic nationality in Plateau State, His Royal Highness, The Bra Ngwe Irigwe, Rt Rev Ronku Aka, has lamented the tragedy that befell his people in the Bassa Local Government Area following the recent invasion of their communities by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen.
According to the monarch, some security operatives who were deployed in the communities during the attacks told the residents they had no instruction to repel the invaders.
The monarch stated this when the President of the Para-Mallam Peace Foundation, Rev Gideon Para-Mallam, led other officials of the non-governmental organisation on a sympathy visit to his palace in Miango.
The group had earlier taken relief materials to internally displaced persons on Friday
The traditional ruler said the destruction that took place in his kingdom had further exposed the handicap of the governors and the council chairmen as chief security officers in their respective areas of jurisdiction in the country
Aku said, “I don’t blame the local government chairman in Bassa or the governor of the state over the calamity that has befallen my people.
“At peace meetings, the governor will give an order but the security men will go and do a different thing.
“During the recent attacks in my communities, the soldiers and other security operatives were around. As the invaders were carrying out the attacks in Jebu Miango and advancing to other communities we expected them to confront the invaders and stop the destruction going on but that did not happen.
“When I enquired what was happening, some soldiers cried to me that they did not receive the order to repel the attackers on the communities.
“Some of them who expressed frustration over the situation wondered the essence of holding guns which they could not use and left the scene while the attackers continued with their destruction in the communities.
“If the security agents were deployed and allowed to do their job, maybe, the attackers would not have succeeded with their evil plans and my people would not be suffering what they are experiencing at the moment.
“But we don’t want more deaths in the communities. I have told my people not to retaliate what was done to them but we need justice going forward.”
The President, Gideon & Funmi Para-Mallam Peace Foundation, Para-Mallam, while condemning the incident, said the violence in the communities must not be allowed to continue.
He called on the government to double its efforts towards protecting citizens’ lives and property.
The gunmen last week invaded over 10 communities in the Bassa Local Government Area and set over 400 houses on fire.
Over 50 people were said to have been killed during the attacks which also left several people injured with 22,000 others displaced.