Friday, 20th of July, 2018 witnessed a gathering of Nigerians living in South Africa. Natives of Plateau state and other citizens marched in protest against the killings in Nigeria, particularly the recent bloodshed in Plateau State.
The protest which was organised by Plateau Indigenes in South Africa (PISA) was closely monitored by the South African Police and the Nigerian Embassy. The highlight was an interview with the media representative of PISA in which they appealed to the United Nations and the Government of Nigeria.
The Protesters peacefully demanded for action to be taken to secure the lives and properties of Nigerians living in Nigeria in general and Plateau State in particular.
The Memorandum addressed to the High Commissioner H.E. Ahmed M. Ibeto reads:
- We, the concerned citizens of Nigeria under the platform of Plateau Indigenes in South Africa (PISA), have the honour to convey to the High Commissioner of Nigeria our deepest concern and total condemnation of the massacre of over 200 innocent and defenceless children, women and men by Fulani militias, which took place on 23rd and 24th June 2018 in Barkin Ladi, Riyom and Bokkos Local Government Areas of Plateau State of Nigeria. The killings are not only atrocious, cruel and despicable, but constitute the worst form of man’s inhumanity to man, ethnic cleansing, genocide and crime against humanity, which must be condemned by all peace-loving people of the world.
- It is regrettable that the crisis is further worsened by the forceful occupation by the herders of the ancestral habitat and farmlands of the communities displaced as a result of the violent attacks. Today, the survivors of the attacks are scattered in various Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Plateau State under dire sub-human conditions, with little or no succour from the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Plateau State Government. While the survivors are languishing in IDP camps, their lands remain occupied by Fulani herders, under the official watch of both the national and state governments. Our people want to return to their ancestral lands and we demand that the international community and the Nigerian government guarantee our safe return to the land and protect our life and property.
- While we applaud the outpouring of outrage and condemnations by peace-loving Nigerians and the international community, especially the United Nations Secretary-General, the Government of the United States of America and the United Kingdom’s House of Lords, we wish to call on all leaders and people of conscience from all over the world, including ethnic nationalities residing in Plateau State, to rise up in unison and solidarity with the weak, defenceless and oppressed farmers of Plateau State and other parts of Nigeria, who have become targets of the brutal attacks of Fulani herders.
- We also laud the rare demonstration of courage, compassion and respect for human life by Mallam Tsoho, the Chief Imam of Nghar, a small village in Plateau State. The godly man, who is a Muslim of Hausa-Fulani extraction, along with other Muslims, hid defenceless Christian farmers in a mosque to protect them from blood-thirsty killer herders. His action is not only exemplary and commendable but underpins the inherent capacity of human beings to do good irrespective of creed.
The PISA Memorandum went further to place a demand on the office of the High Commissioner. This including a call for the government to bring a stop to killing of Farmers by Fulani herdsmen, relief for victims, restoration of IDPs to their ancestral homes and an appeal to the international community to show commitment towards restoring peace and order to Nigeria as a country.
The protest march was attended by students, workers and members of the South African community sympathising with the plight of Nigerians in Plateau and North-East Nigeria.
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