Central Nigeria: Officials in Plateau State, Sunday held talks with herdsmen and native survivors of the June 23, 2018 armed attacks in Nghar village of Gashish District, in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area.
It was the first time the attack survivors were sitting in an official “peace meeting” with herdsmen, since their home return from Internally Displaced Persons camps last December.
At least 86 people were killed in the attacks believed to have been perpetrated by herdsmen.
“But the people cannot live with the hurts forever,” Chairman of Barkin Ladi LGA, Mr. Ezekiel Mandyau, said.
“Our aim is to make the villages safe again through peaceful mediations, forgiveness and reconciliation,” he said during a memorial Church service before the meeting.
He said, “It is good that the villagers are back home. No meaningful assistance can come to a people in IDP camps as when they are back home. All that they might keep getting in camps is humanitarian aid, as opposed to social amenities and other basic necessities that they need to start life again back in their homes.”
Government, Mandyau said is planning to construct modern roads around the attacked villages, provide hospitals and safe drinking water through public private partnership.
He appealed for the villagers to avoid acts capable of deteriorating the gradually resuming peace in the locality.
The Gashish Attacks of June 23, 2018 followed several isolated attacks; usually roadside ambushes and farmland attacks.
Beginning with sympathizers returning from a funeral at the headquarters of the District, Kakuruk village, the June 23 2018 attacks, believed to be the deadliest in the State since June 2012 claimed an estimated 250 lives.
Over 20 herdsmen arrested with AK47 rifles and detained in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja have yet to be prosecuted.
The survivors equally claim to still see faces of those who took part in the attacks but officials insist, reconciliation was more effective than conventional justice.