By Bitrus Kaze
By precisely 4:16p.m yesterday 25th January 2020, I received the following distress SMS:
“Following the recent attacks on the Damaturu-Maiduguri highway and gruesome killing of ROPVIL DACIYA by the Boko Haram in which the video made it clear that they must revenge on Plateau indigenes what allegedly happened to their Fathers and Forefathers. It is on this note that we the indigenous people of Plateau State undergoing our mandatory National Youth Service (NYSC) in Borno State (Maiduguri) feel unsafe and therefore call on our Leaders to device a means so we can relocate due to insecurity of the state. Maiduguri is no longer safe for us…” (Name, designation and contact details provided).
I placed a phone call on the traumatized contact shortly thereafter and upon my inquiry, they confirmed contacting the Plateau State Government in addition to sending the same SMS to about 10 other prominent Plateau natives most of whom are elected or appointed political office holders serving at both the State and Federal levels. The contact lamented however that only one of them had responded with an SMS, “We talk later.”
In a video posted on 22nd September 2019, two young men Lawrence Duna Dacighir and Godfrey Ali Shikagham, both carpenters from Mangu LGA of Plateau State were abducted and publicly executed. The dou had gone to Maiduguri to help build shelters for displaced persons.
Rep Yusuf Gagdi of Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam Federal Constituency reported that on 4th December, 2019, Bashir Abdulhamid a health worker from Kanam LGA of Plateau State was abducted by Boko Haram insurgents on his way to Maiduguri.
On 8th December 2019, Sergeant Yakubu Bandi of 123 battalion, a native of Langtang was abducted and killed by Boko Haram on the Damaturu-Maiduguri highway.
On 22nd December, 2019 Jennifer Ukambong Samuel from Bokkos LGA of Plateau state was abducted by the Boko Haram along with others on the Monguno-Maiduguri road. She was an aid worker, very fortunately she has been freed.
Again according to Hon Gagdi, on 23rd December 2019, Dauda Gojang Gaskiya and Joseph Wutuk both of Kanke LGA Plateau State were ambushed and killed by Boko Haram along Maiduguri-Damaturu road.
On 9th January 2020, Ropvil Daciya Dalep a native of Pankshin LGA Plateau state was abducted by the ISWA and publicly executed by a child soldier. He was a 20-year-old student of University of Maiduguri who was returning from Christmas break.
On the same day, 9th January 2020 another 20-year-old student of the University of Maiduguri Lilian Daniel Gyang from Foron, B/Ladi LGA of Plateau was abducted by Boko Haram also on her way back to school from the Christmas break.
Between September 2019 and January 2020 alone, a whooping 9 numbers of innocent Plateau natives who are either aid workers or students have been abducted 6 of them executed in the most gruesome manner and of course still counting! A press statement issued by the Plateau State government on 16th January 2020 said, “efforts to rescue other citizens of Plateau State still under Boko Haram captivity are ongoing”. In other words many other Plateau natives abducted by Boko Haram ISWA are unreported.
Their crime is that they are Christians and natives of Plateau State. In the words of Rep Gagdi (a Muslim faithful) in his World Press Conference at Jos on 23rd January 2020, “…the insurgents have made it categorically clear that they are looking out for Christian citizens of Plateau State to kill.” They want “…to continually abduct and kill in like manner Christian citizens of Plateau State.” Hon Gagdi is absolutely correct.
In the heat of killings on the Plateau in 2010, the Punch newspaper reported in March 2010 that Brig-Gen. Maharazu Tsiga then the Director-General NYSC ordered the withdrawal of all corps members from places where their security and safety was threatened. “Those in Plateau State by the special grace of God, we are going to withdraw all of them… Because it is when their security is assured that we know that their service are needed in that particular state.”
We already know how the civilian junta of Major General Muhammadu Buhari Rtd has admonished Christians not to complain but show him gratitude because the Boko Haram terrorists are no longer killing Christians with bombs but are only beheading them. We understand the loyalty of the Plateau State government to President Buhari but the state government CANNOT afford to abandon its own people in their time of distress. It cannot be excused.
The time is now for the government of Plateau State to heed to the distress call of innocent but traumatized sons and daughters of Plateau undergoing the mandatory National Youth Service in Borno State. Going by NYSC’s standard, their security is not assured in Borno state therefore we know that their services are no longer needed there. This matter ought to have been carried as a Motion under Matters Of Urgent National Importance in both floors of the National Assembly and of course the Plateau State House of Assembly.
My condolences to the Daciyas and the Adimis (the family of slain CAN Chairman, Michika LGA of Adamawa).