Angry Bokkos women and youths staged a protest in the town to express dissatisfaction on indiscriminate arrests of youths in the community following the death of two persons said to be Fulani.
The protesters visited the joint security task force Operation Safe Haven base as well as the Divisional Police Office in Bokkos to express their displeasure on the random arrests of indigenes in relation to the arrest which they claimed to be discriminatory.
Reports had it that things turned violent when the protesters proceeded to the palace of the District Head of Bokkos, Saf Adanchin, as the angry mob overpowered the security personnel at the Palace and set the building including vehicles parked within the premises ablaze.
Meanwhile, the Bokkos Progressive Youths issued a statement lamenting the biases of the security operatives.
The statement signed by the youth president, Luka Tulladem, condemned the security operatives modus operandi since the Christmas Eve attacks in Bokkos, describing it as human rights abuse.
“It is with pain in our hearts that we write to address you concerning the continuous violation of human rights by the military sent to foil the attacks that started on 23rd december 2023 in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State Nigeria.
“Since the sad event happened, we have witnessed continuous arrest, detention, and brutalization of victims who managed to escape the horror of the attackers. In most cases, these victims have suffered incapacitation and bullet wounds from the same army who are supposed to protect them,” the statement added.
The youths are also calling for proper investigation into circumstances leading to the death of the two persons rather than victimizing the people that are already traumatized and displaced from their homes.
Christmas Eve Attack
Simultaneous attacks by assailants on communities in the Bokkos and Barkin-Ladi Local Government Areas of the Plateau State on Christmas Eve claimed the lives of over 200 person with hundreds of houses and farmlands burnt.
The Christmas Eve attack attracted condemnation locally and globally. President Bola Tinubu had ordered a probe into the incidents. Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang also called for “united efforts to identify and apprehend those responsible for these heinous acts”.
Vice President Kashim Shettima visited the area to commiserate with the people of the North-Central State.
During the visit, Shettima appealed to the residents to “resist the temptation to succumb to sectional divisions or the poisonous rhetoric of hatred towards your fellow citizens, as we pursue justice to ensure your security”.
Beyond Herder-Farmer Clashes
In his reaction to the recent attack on Bokkos and Barkin-Ladi, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan-Kukah, said the repeated and unending killings on the Plateau is beyond herder-farmer clashes, adding that the murderers “want their own kind of Nigeria according to their ideology”.
In a statement after the attack, the cleric charged the government to resist the agenda of the marauders and protect Nigerians.
Kukah labelled the marauders as “sons of Satan” who “opted to extinguish and snatch the light of the joy of Christmas from thousands of people on the Plateau”.
“There is a method to this madness. “The choice of location, communities, timings, the seeming hooded identities of the killers mask a fact: we may not know who they are, but someone wants something from the Middle Belt. Stretch your imagination from the emergence of the modern Nigerian state and connect the dots,” Kukah’s statement partly read.