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Monday, 26 March 2018

"I'm finished" - widow who lost 5 children to herdsmen attack laments

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A grieving widow has lost her children and grandchildren to herdsmen attack in Plateau state.

68-year-old Martha Ishaya lost her loved ones in two separate attacks. Three of her grandchildren were killed when suspected herdsmen invaded Datanko village of Miango District of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State on March 8, 2018, killing four persons. This sad incident occurred on the day President Muhammadu Buhari visited Plateau state on a two-day working visit.

Mrs Ishaya's grandchildren had their heads chopped off with a machete during the attack in Datanko village. They were Emmanuel Joseph, 16; Christopher Joseph, 16; (who were twins) and Peace Joseph, 6.

The teenage children were blocked and killed in one room while their parents who had escaped into the bush, watched helplessly from a distance as their children groaned in pain, Sun News reports.

After the brutal killing, Mrs Ishaya and the other Irigwe women from Miango District who were displaced as a result of the incessant attacks converged on March 13, 2018, at Gada-Biyu in Jos North Local Government Area by 6:30a.m to march on major streets in protest as they went to the JUTH Mortuary to convey the corpses of the children for mass burial. But as the women marched in black clothes to mourn the untimely deaths of their children, they got wind of another attack taking place in a neighbouring community where most of their people had relocated to after being displaced as a result of the incessant attacks. This time, 25 of their people were killed.

Mrs Ishaya was devastated to find that two of her children, Dauda Ishaya and Yahanna Ishaya, who had built their houses at Dundu village in Kwall Chiefdom of Miango Distinct, had died in the second onslaught. Most of the victims died of gunshots injuries after which their bodies were butchered with machetes.



Mrs Ishaya, who lost her husband sometime in 2017 lamented: "What have I done to deserve what is happening to me? Fulani have ruined my life, they have robbed me of all I have; I am finished. God, I need your divine intervention, show your mercy."

Mrs Ishaya is currently staying with relations in Miango town as her house was burnt during the attack and the entire village displaced. She is currently begging for food and shelter.

One of the surviving children, a four-year-old boy, Chenka Amos is lying critically ill at Enos Private Hospital Miango as he escaped death narrowly. He has gunshots and machete injuries all over his head, Sun reports.

Narrating the casualties that Miango District has suffered between January and March 14, 2018, Zango Lawrence Nebanat, publicity secretary of Miango Youth Development Association, revealed that 125 persons have been killed, 863 villages destroyed and several persons wounded.

He said: “No fewer than 26 villages were attacked, 125 persons killed, 44 people injured, 863 houses razed down with food bans, 347 farm land produce worth millions of naira destroyed, 15 motorbikes, a bus, 24 irrigation water pumps burnt, more than 23,000 IDPs recorded, including men, women, children and the aged while an estimated number of property amounting billions of naira were lost.

“These attacks began in Ncha village on 7th September, 2017 with the gruesome killings of more than 20 people, mostly made up of women and children in their sleep. Houses were also razed down completely. Since that fateful day, peace has eluded the Irigwe nation.

“Ever since the Ncha incident, the assailants have continued to launch night unexpected attacks in other communities in line with their threat that Ncha was just the beginning. We have continually woken up to news of attacks each day leaving tears, sorrow, despair and apprehension.”

Comrade Nabanat begged the Federal Government to include Plateau among the states in the North Central to be visited by the military operation to ensure safety of lives and property.
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