PRESS CONFERENCE CONVENED BY PENE DA BWATIYE ON THE INVASION AND WANTON DESTRUCTION OF LIVES AND PROPERTIES AT KODOMUN TOWN IN DEMSA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA BY FULANI HERDSMEN AND THEIR HIRED MERCENARIES BETWEEN FRIDAY 29TH JULY, 2016 TO MONDAY 1ST AUGUST, 2016
Gentlemen of the press,
It is with a heavy heart that the Bwatiye Community represented by our umbrella organization, *PENE* *DA* *BWATIYE* wish to address you today. We draw attention to the massive destruction of the rural town of Kodomun in Demsa Local Government of Adamawa State and the brutal cold blooded murder of twenty five (25) persons comprising our revered elders, young and middle aged men, women and children. As we address you today, the entire population of about 2,500 inhabitants are now homeless and scattered in towns and villages as Internally Displaced Persons.
Please recall that from January to July this year, similar mass killings took place in the Bwatiye villages of Koh, Goron, Ndikajam, Tabongo, No-Ine Fawaire and Jimoh in Girei Local Government Area of Adamawa State where seventy two (72) deaths were recorded including the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Vunoklang, a suburb of the Jimeta metropolis. These killings were perpetrated by suspected Fulani Herdsmen and their hired mercenaries. Up to this time, no one, to the best of our knowledge has been questioned or sanctioned by the authorities over the incidence and no compensation to the victims.
As painful as the destruction and looting of property and the brutal killings of our defenceless people and the removal of some vital parts of their bodies for ritual purposes have been, we have managed with difficulty, to implore our communities to refrain from taking the law into their own hands. While we continue to look up to the State Government for justice and protection, unfortunately, government failed in this regard. We find this failure of government unacceptable, as it is equally becoming more challenging to restrain our people from rising up to their own self defence by every possible means against armed Fulani herdsmen that are using assault riffles and hard core military weapons, as didi in Koh, Ndikajam, No-Ine, Tabongo Goron, Fawaire and Jimoh in Girei Local Government Area.
The impunity of these invaders will not stop unless the government ceases to treat them with kid gloves. We are gratified that the president of the Federal republic of Nigeria, President Muhamamdu Buhari has at last directed the security agents to disarm them. However, we wait to see what will happen, for with the likes of commissioner of Police of Adamawa State as law enforcement officers, we will be faced with either inaction or complicity. You will recall that this Commissioner of Police on Tuesday 2nd August, 2016 said no life was lost in the invasion on Kodomun and that he did not allow his men to intervene in the attack because according to the Commissioner of Police, this was a Communal clash and to do so, would appear to be taking sides. We feel that this man is not fit for Command. He should be removed immediately by the Inspector General of Police. In light of the foregoing, we unequivocally affirm that it is not a coincidence that the brunt of these murderous attacks have been directed mainly at the ethnic nationalities and other well meaning citizens who are opposed to this diabolic agenda. The activities of these evil men is not limited to the Bwatiye alone, it is rather a carefully calculated and orchestrated agenda by these dangerous external Fulani Marauders in collaboration with their local herdsmen and sponsors to lay state, sack and take over the fertile agricultural lands of the indigenous groups.
First they struck in Dumne and massacred several Yungur people. In 2012, they invaded Lamurde LGA and touched several of the Sobo settlements through a highly sophisticated mercenary force whose advance was only checked through the late intervention of a combined team of police and military troops.
Between 2010 - 2014, through the diabolic Boko Haram sect, these blood thirsty organizations laid waste to the largest concentration of ethnic nationalities in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa States destabilizing in the process the Marghi, Higgi, Fali, Gude, Janyi, Kilba, Hona, Lala, Bura, Ga'anda, Mboi, to name a few. The strategy they employed is a simple one isolate the different ethnic nationalities and strike them at will. They started this in Plateau State, then moved to Nasarawa and Benue States. They have laid siege to Kogi, Ekiti, Ondo, Enugu, Delta, Taraba, Kaduna, Zamfara, Nasarawa States etc. This is therefore, a wake-up call on all and sundry to stand up and fight this common evil by all well meaning and peace loving Nigerians.
1. That, as a matter of priority and urgency, government should immediately come to the aid of the victims of the Kodomun massacre through the provision of relief materials. Government should also rehabilitate and settle the affected community as houses and property have been destroyed and they could hardly afford to provide shelter for themselves. 2. We as a people have a well known attribute of love for peace and good communal life with all people who seek sojourn in Bwatiye land. We would cooperate with Government in finding ways to ensure that justice is done through the CONSTITUTION OF HIGH POWERED JUDICIAL PANEL OF ENQUIRY with task to ascertain the true position of the immediate and remote causes of all these deadly attacks on innocent and defenceless people, in all cases by surprise in their sleep, on their farms or as in the case of Kodomun as the people gathered to bury their dead. We call on the government of Adamawa State, His Excellency Mohammed Umaru Jibrilla to take this important step to provide a permanent settlement to the raids and feuds in the interest of peace in Adamawa State. 3. We assume government is aware that unless culprits are brought to book, we run the danger of communities resorting to the dreadful steps of securing justice against the tenets of civilized society. The danger is that as no section of the citizenry or ethnic group has a monopoly on violence, other groups will take measures to protect themselves and their property. The result is going to be chaos and disorder in the country beyond the scope of government to control, should it desire to do so at this stage, we call on the government to check this dangerous drift to anarchy. 4. Consequently and more importantly, we demand the immediate disarming of Fulani Herdsmen and immediate proactive steps towards restoring amicable farmers / grazers relationship for the benefit of peace and harmony in Adamawa State. In conclusion, *PENE* *DA* *BWATIYE* *WORLDWIDE* here again calls loudly to all Bwatiye sons and daughters and other ethnic nationalities to inspite of our distress, to keep the faith in the Federal and State Governments, to remain law abiding, respecting all constituted and responsible authority. We appreciate you the media and look forward to your reports. Sign for and on behalf of the Bwatiye Worldwide.
_____________________ *PRINCE* *HEZRON* *A*. *FADA*, National President, Pene Da Bwatiye.