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85 killed over clashes in Central Nigeria

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By Usman Oladimeji

More than 3,000 people are displaced due to the ongoing clashes.

Report has it that the ongoing confrontations between herders and farmers have got at least 85 people killed with more than 3,000 people displaced in central Nigeria. The violence began on Monday, with an initial death toll of 30, in multiple villages of Plateau State, an area that has long been riven by ethnic and religious strife. According to local sources and witnesses, several villages in Plateau state’s Mangu area were still engulfed in violence on Thursday, with residents fleeing.

Although what sparked the violence in Mangu this week was unknown, tit-for-tat killings between herders and farmers frequently escalate into village invasions by extremely well-armed groups. Community leader Joseph Gwankat from the Mwaghavul Development Association have confirmed to the media that 85 bodies were discovered by the search and rescue team. NEMA, the Nation’s Emergency Management Agency, reported that thousands of people had to leave their homes as a direct result of the violence that broke out.

720 homes had been partially or entirely destroyed.

NEMA regional coordinator Eugene Nyelong said 3,683 people have been displaced and that aid is on the way to those in need. He also mentioned that over 720 homes had been partially or entirely destroyed. Community leader Gwankat stated that 57 individuals were receiving medical attention at local hospitals, while Nyelong from NEMA stated that an estimated 216 people were harmed. However, as of Thursday, it was still undetermined how many people had been injured.

Five persons, according to police reports, were arrested when the riots broke out. Alfred Alabo, the police spokesman, noted that peacefulness has returned to the neighbourhood after a large-scale deployment of security forces. However a spokesperson for Mangu and the surrounding Bokkos in the House of Representatives indicated that tensions persisted. Solomon Maren informed the press early Thursday afternoon, “There were gunshots up to about two hours ago as people were running for their lives.”

More needs to be done by the government to ensure safety.

He claimed “hundreds” of outsiders with firearms were responsible for the violence. According to Maren, more than a hundred people have been killed, and seventeen communities have been completely destroyed. On Wednesday, representatives from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) visited the area and reported that the situation was extremely serious. SEMA’s chief of search and rescue, Juni Bala, said, “We could see houses that were still burning, but we couldn’t go further because many youths were angry.”

Bala stated that the conditions on there were horrible. Thousands of women and children were on the road, in search of safety, sustenance, and other necessities. The Nigerian chapter of Amnesty International has spoken out against the violence, calling it “deplorable” and adding that it occurred when the affected farming communities in Mangu were tending to their fields. More needs to be done by the government of Nigeria to ensure the safety of its citizens and bring those responsible for these atrocities to account, it said.

The challenges is one of many security issues.

After a brief period of tranquil following the February presidential and March state elections, violence in Nigeria has been on the rise in recent weeks. The challenges are only one of many security issues that President-elect Bola Tinubu, who will take office on May 29, will have to deal with. Among other security cases currently plaguing the nation are the ongoing jihadist insurgency in the northeast for the past 14 years, pirates activities in the Gulf of Guinea, and kidnappings by armed criminals occurring all over the country.

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