Kim Musa Ndoh, Jos
Primary school pupils in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State say Fulani bandits have killed 42 children and made 646 orphans in Irigwe communities in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The children said most of them are homeless without parents, living in hunger and excruciating pains and begging daily for survival.
Dille Gado, a primary 3 pupil, who lost his parent in one of the attacks disclosed this on Wednesday when the International Committee on Nigeria (ICON) presented face masks and exercise books to the school children to mark this year’s National Children Day at LEA Primary School Miango playground in Bassa Local Government Area.
‘In this year’s National Children’s Day, we commiserate with our beloved ones who died as a result of the cruel atrocities committed by suspected Fulani herdsmen killers, Boko Haram, and also our beloved parents who died of the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘In Plateau State, from January 2017 till date, 42 children of Irigwe nation were killed by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, 646 are left orphans, 3,148 left without food and shelter which was burnt and destroyed by Fulani herdsmen.
‘We demand that the Federal Government bring all those involved in atrocities, war crimes and other human rights violations and abuses to justice in a fair trial.’
Gada urged government at all levels to ensure that the right of children to health services, education, family life, the standard of living and right to be protected from abuse is adequately provided for the survival of Nigerian children.
He said Nigerian children are demanding for justice to minors who were raped, adding that sex without consent is rape.
‘All those involved in rape should be brought to justice according to the law of the land. State and non-actors to protect children from early child marriage, child labour, torture and other ill-treatment.’
A primary one school pupil, Jepther Bitrus, whose parents were killed in one of the villages in Miango, said: ‘They killed my brother, my sister, my mother and father. Fulani should stop killing children and our parents.’
The Nigeria Correspondent of International Committee on Nigeria and Convener of the Children’s Day, Xhyongo Nebanat, said the vulnerable child were brought together to be given face masks and exercise books to protect themselves against the COVID-19.
He noted that the children are being trained to speak for themselves in dangerous situation and to know their rights in society.
The councillor of Taho ward and Deputy Leader of Bassa Local Government Area, Tigale Ikre, confirmed that most of the children who are orphans live in crowded rooms despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
He noted that the children are left without food and most of them are homeless because their homes were destroyed and burnt by the Fulanis bandits.
The children were brought together from Ancha, Nkiedowro, Jiri, Rotsu, Hausa community, Miango Central and other villages that have suffered attacks and loss of lives and properties.