According to a report by Vanguard, some Plateau citizens have raised concern over the alleged influx of strange Fulani men into the abandoned Pandam Wild Life in Qua’an Pan local government area of the State.
An indigenous group, Pan Youth Association, PYA, through their National President, Dama Yonmi, had raised an alarm about the said daily influx of the people mainly men without wives and kids and called for urgent action as their presence has escalated security issues including robbing of men and raping of girls and women who go to the games reserves to fetch firewood.
Yonmi noted, “It is on record that from the North, South to the Eastern part of Nigeria, the peculiar security challenges has seen Fulani herdsmen illegally occupying reserve areas and not only that, but using such forests as launch pad for series of unusual crimes such as banditry, kidnapping, rape and all sort of terrorist activities connected there to.”
Again, a Plateau socio-political group, Plateau Our Heritage, POH is worried that neither the leadership of the local government area nor the security is doing anything about the recent invasion and called for urgent action to forestall any breakdown of law and order in the area.
In a statement issued in Jos and signed by Alex Kwapnoe and Ayuba Dangwong, Chairman and Convener of the group respectively, the duo enjoined all well-meaning and peace loving stakeholders to call on the Plateau and federal governments to investigate the issue and nip it in the bud before it becomes late.
“The Plateau our Heritage, POH, has been taken aback by a disturbing revelation by the Chairman of Qua’an Pan local government area, Abdulmalik Haruna that hinged on illegal movement into Plateau state government-owned Pandam Game Reserve by unknown Fulani herdsmen.
“Because of the tension this encroachment had generated and is still generating in similar reserves in the southern parts of the country, the POH deems it necessary to lend its voice to the concern.
“The Council Chairman had said in an interview that, “We have earlier on sent surveillance team and have alerted Government. We can’t deny the fact that there are movements. Today, people were being pursued from somewhere and normally they have to seek for safe haven. The issue of Pandam, we have been complaining long ago because it has been abandoned by the State Government for quite a long time. There are Fulanis there we cannot denied that fact, but we can’t say they are plenty or whatsoever but few are there. We have gone there with two surveillance and we have alerted the state government”.”
While POH commends the federal government for its plans to take over the game reserve as was disclosed by Governor Simon Lalong during a recent media parley, they asked for immediate invention saying, “the discovery of an influx of unknown persons into the forest reserves in their numbers without their wives, children and valuables is the reason for a call for immediate intervention by concerned authorities to halt the trend.
“POH is joining all well meaning and peace-loving stakeholders to call on the Plateau and federal governments to investigate this and rise to the occasion before it becomes late.
“Our people have suffered unjustly because of seeming carelessness of the authorities in the past and we are alerting on this situation because as the adage says ‘a stitch in time saves nine’.”