January 28, 2023

School kids orphaned in another “unprovoked” attack in Plateau

Villagers mourn murdered native in Plateau State near Jos. Photo credit: ECCVN

Armed men believed to be herders on Sunday ambushed three farmers in Central Nigeria, killing one, reports say.

The three, all natives of Kum village in Plateau State’s Riyom area were attacked near Riyom town at about 9pm, it was learnt.

36years old Bitrus Chollom, a father of four was killed on the spot, while the rest escaped with injuries, locals say.

Bitrus’ murder has put the education of his four children at risk. Many African fathers are the breadwinners of their families. They also control all sources of income in the family. In the event of their demise, their dependent wives and children become prone to abuse, malnutrition and illiteracy.

Bitrus was a pleasant farmer, and his wife, Esther, a petty trader, with less than $2USD income a week. Though their children attend public schools, which are subsidized at the elementary level, feeding, transportation, uniforms, books and other learning materials might be a challenge henceforth.

Armed attacks have persisted in Plateau State for weeks now, creating disturbing humanitarian concerns.

Similar attacks last three years forced over 30,000 villagers to stay for over 15 months in internally displaced persons camps. Government closed down the camps in December 2019, but adequate security was not provided.

Many of them have been attacked on their farms or on their way to the farms. Last three weeks, a similar attack in neighboring Bassa area caused the displacement of over 300 women and children. In one of such attacks in Zirshe village, over ten houses and food bans were burnt.

Many arrests have been made in connection to armed attacks in villages since they began gaining polarity in 2010. However, no one has been tried and sentenced.