Since the early 2000s, Plateau State has witnessed several violent communal clashes that claimed more than a thousand lives. Yet, the conflicts are unresolved due to the failure of government at federal and state levels. More than a hundred lives and properties have been lost in fresh attacks by ethnic groups. The ICIR’s Lukman ABOLADE visited the state to track the triggers of the intercommunal strifes.
MARIO Gado sat on a chair wearing a polo top and Ankara wrappers with a long red scarf which she constantly used to wipe her tears. She had not spoken a word for many hours – her eyes were red and moist because of hours of crying.
Gado had just lost her husband, Ruvo Gado, in an attack orchestrated by suspected herders the previous evening.
Two sons, who were with her husband during the attack, were admitted to two hospitals due to their gun wounds. But Gardo was too overwhelmed with a sense of loss to narrate the tragedy. Instead, it was her neighbour, Josephine Chaye, who spoke to The ICIR.
Each time she attempted to talk, Maria cried inconsolably. Her pain was fresh because her two sons, who were with her husband, were also attacked and admitted to the hospitals. The two narrowly escaped the attack but had gun wounds.
How it happened
According to Chaye, the family of four were on their way to the farm where they cultivated Irish potatoes and maize in Nkiedowro, Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.
Since the only family motorcycle could not transport everyone from their home in Miango to Nkiedowro, the men mounted the bike while Maria trekked, hoping to catch up with them at the farm.