The residents of Bokkos town in Plateau State have openly condemned the fast rising cases of rape, indiscriminate grazing and intimidation by suspected herdsmen.
A community leader in Bokkos, Plateau, who gave his name as Mangai, said that for the past three months, indiscriminate grazing in residential areas has been on the increase with no visible security intervention.
A member of the Run Muruwi Vanguard, a native interest group who chose to be anonymous said that despite efforts made by various groups and individuals to curb the excesses of the herders, there has been very little success.
Corroborating this position, a former president of the Youths in Bokkos,Plateau, Samuel Agandu said,
“Often times, when the herders are cautioned, they pull out arms to fight.”
According to the Secretary of the Bokkos Progressive Youth Forum, Mabur Tokshik,
“The situation is not new as there have been several reports of such excesses but none has been tangible.
We only hear them as rumours and no one has officially reported such”.
Police authorities have equally denied receiving official reports of such, just as a Fulani leader, Ardo Shagari Abdullahi has said there has never been a complaint against the Fulani as such.
The Bokkos Divisional Police headquarters has, however,confirmed the killing of a young man by suspected herdsmen last week Sunday near Government Secondary School Kopyal.
The murder followed the alleged raping of an 18 year old girl by two suspected herdsmen in a farm near Bokkos town.
Police could not, however,confirm the rape incident when contacted.
The Secretary of the Bokkos Progressive Youth Movement however, said there were several unofficial reports of rape in Bokkos but could not attribute them to any group or individual.
He revealed that findings from his office reveal that on the latest incident, there was no penetration as the victim was immediately rescued after she screamed while struggling with the culprits, alerting nearby farmers.
Former President of the Bokkos Youths, Mr. Agandu however joined Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma to call for self-defense among communities. He said,
“Even the securities these days are hands-tight and can hardly function as expected due to superior interests”.
Bokkos LGA has been in the news of late following series of attacks by suspected herdsmen, leading to the sack of nine villages.
Recently, over 30 people are said to have been killed, while over 7000 others displaced from their homes and more than 1000 houses destroyed as a result of alleged attacks by herdsmen in Daffo District of the aforementioned LGA.