The Tarok community in Plateau State, North Central Nigeria, under the aegis of ‘NGWANG ISHI O’TAROK’ (NIO) has raised the alarm over an alleged plot by terrorists to attack their people spread across three local government areas of the state, namely, Langtang North, Langtang South and Wase.
The group in a press conference in Jos addressed by David Dashe and Nangor Ndam, President and Secretary, respectively, raised serious concern on what they described as “the prevailing security challenges confronting Taroh land,” and called for immediate action by government and security agencies to “nip it in the bud.”
According to them, in recent weeks, their communities of Wase, Langtang North and Langtang South and indeed other neighbouring communities have continued to witness unprecedented influx of war-like strangers in their area.
The group named the communities where the insurgents have camped as Aving, Jawando, Gwiwa-Kogi- Pino, Timman, Tunga, Nzhi-Nbwai and Zam-Bwarat of Wase LGA.and warned the entire Plateau South Senatorial Zone was at the risk of being wiped out if nothing was urgently done to flush out the terrorists.
The group said that reports from official circles confirmed the plans by these terrorists to attack the Tarok and other communities of Plateau State and clearly justified their fear.
The full text of the speech reads:
We address you today with great concern on the prevailing security challenges confronting the Tarok nation. You will recall that between 2002 and 2013, Tarok people were isolated as target of countless attacks, conspiracy and molestations by terrorists for unprovoked reasons.
During that period of wanton siege, many of our people lost their lives, and property worth millions of naira were destroyed.
That was a historic evidence of a complicated prejudice-motivated harassment and violence ever plotted against a people to threaten their lives, liberty, integrity, social and economic development since the great holocaust.
We survived that challenge because we refused to give in as hostages in our own land, because of our steadfastness and largely, because of the abounding grace of God that was upon us.
Since the end of that ugly tragedy, the Tarok nation has continued to tackle the scourge of its displaced population. We have continued to nurse the scars of that experience.
Despite the situation we found ourselves, we have exercised restraint, minimized the tendency for retaliation and preached the benefit of peaceful co-existence.
We have also participated in several peace building processes that are aimed at entrenching peace and deleting the memory of war.
Over the last few years however, the terrorists’ threat against our people have continued unabated in new phases, justifying the fear that we face a fragile future. We have continued to read hate speeches and other forms of orchestrations against our people in the media, including online blogs.
The most recent evidence of the systematic plot against our people was the recorded hate speech credited to the current Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Mallam Isa Pantami, currently in circulation in the social media, in which he had threatened to lead a jihad to Langtang against the Tarok people.
That speech is clearly incompatible with the notion of tolerance, constitutes incitement to denigration, discrimination, hostility and violence against our people which could trigger harassment.
The plots against the Tarok people have been intensified in recent weeks as the terrorists are allegedly perfecting plans to attack us in Wase, Langtang North, Langtang South Local Government Areas, and other locations where our people are resident and by extension the entire Southern Plateau State.
We hope these latest plots are not part of the Hon Minister’s long standing and widely publicized genocidal agenda against our people. Reports from official circles which confirmed the plans by these terrorists to attack the Tarok and other communities of Plateau State clearly justify our fear.
In recent weeks also, Tarok communities of Wase, Langtang North and Langtang South and indeed other neighbouring communities have continued to witness unprecedented influx of war-like strangers in their area.
Communities where these strangers have camped include: Aving, Jawando, Gwiwa-Kogi- Pino, Timman, Tunga, Nzhi-Nbwai and Zam-Bwarat of Wase LGA.
If this threat is left unchecked, it will worsen the prevailing national security challenges with far reaching implications on food security as attacks on the farmers will inevitably disrupt agrarian activities, leading to food shortages.
As a people, we value peaceful co-existence and the rule of law, but we must reiterate that any further desire to attack and stifle us out of existence, or inflict killings and destruction on our people as attempted in recent past will be met with appropriate resistance.
Without doubt, any harassment and molestation by such invaders will make it incumbent on us to exercise our God-given and constitutional rights to defend ourselves and our property.
We therefore call on government to note the continuous targeting and profiling of Tarok people by merchants of conflict and their sympathizers for attack.
We hope the security agents will deploy appropriate measures that will nip these threats in the bud in order to avoid another cycle of breakdown of law and order, and also thaw the unpleasant repercussion of the impugned acts and provocation.
Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!