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Group petitions Plateau Gov Lalong over 102 communities allegedly annexed by herdsmen militia

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An advocacy group known as the Southern and Middle Belt Al­liance (SaMBA) has petitioned Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong to immediately start a process of 102 communities it claimed have been annexed and occupied by the herdsmen militia from 2001, after forcefully chasing out its original inhabitants.

In a statement issued by the group and signed by its President, Rwang Pam Jnr on Tuesday, the group said the inhabitants of the affected communities have been living like destitutes in Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP) camps and are desirous of going back to their ancestral homes to start life afresh.

The group further urged Lalong to em­bark on immediate recovery of the communities as well as “issuing an express order for the ma­rauding militias to evacuate the annexed communities forthwith.”

In the statement which was made available to Ripples Nigeria, the group frowned at the “continuing inva­sion of Plateau communities by Fulani militia since 2001” and demanded that the state government uphold justice for the people of the state who have suffered from land grabbing by the herdsmen as well as other crimes they have been committing for many years including killings, abduction, destruction of farmlands and communities, and rape of women.

READ ALSO: Gov Lalong decries fresh Plateau killings, calls for justice

“SaMBA is saddened by the development in Plateau State and is therefore, joining in a petition by the Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria (ECCVN) and community associations like the Atakar Development Association (IDA), Berom Educational and Cultural Organization (BECO), Irigwe Development Association (IDA) and Ron Kunlere Development Asso­ciation (RKDA), for him to immediately begin the process of reclaiming 102 communities that have been annexed by Fulani herdsmen militia.

“The petition is anchored on the Plateau State An­ti-Land Grabbing Law, a pathetic situation where aborig­ines and natives of Plateau State are sacked and ejected from their ancestral homes by the marauding herdsmen.

“The displaced people are currently suffering untold hardship and harrowing conditions at different IDP camps accross the state.

“This is morally disturbing, globally condem­nable and totally unaccept­able.

“Governor Lalong should do the needful and immediately begin the process of reclaiming the annexed 102 communities so that the original inhabitants should go back and start afresh,” the statement said.

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