A local pressure group “Plateau Our Heritage (POH)” has called on the government to investigate the alleged influx of bandits into Pandang Wild Life Park, a State Game Reserve in the Qua’anpan area of Plateau State.
This the group says would douse tensions and guarantee the safety of communities around the facility.
A press statement issued by the group’s convener, Mr. Pam Ayuba Dangwong and Chairman, Mr. Alex Kwapnoe says local communities have suffered “unjustly” due to “carelessness” by authorities on related issues.
The full text of the release reads:
26th March 2021
The Plateau our Heritage, POH, has been taken aback by a disturbing revelation by the executive Chairman of Quan Pan local government area of Plateau State, Hon. Abdulmalik Yusuf Haruna hinged on illegal movement in to plateau state government’s owned Pandam Game Reserve by unknown Fulani herdsmen.
Though the POH would have ignored the interview he granted a national newspaper, the “Daily Asset” on the discovery, but because of the tension this encroachment had generated and is still generating in a similar reserve 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 the interview that, “We have earlier on sent surveillance team and have alerted Government. We can’t be denied the fact that the movements today, people were been pursued from somewhere and normally they have to seek for safe haven. The issue of Panda, we have been complaining about long ago because it has been abandoned by the State Government for quite a long time. There are Fulanis there we can not be 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 we commend the federal government for its plans to take over the game reserve as was disclosed by the executive governor of Plateau State, Barr. Simon Lalong during his recent media parley, 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.
We are equally challenged by the concerns raised by the Pan Youth Association, PYA, in a release signed by Comr. Dama Yonmi, the National President of the association who stated that “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 launchpad for series of unusual crimes such as banditry, kidnapping, rape and all sort of terrorist activities connected thereto” and as a responsible body, the POH has no choice but to support this assertion.
And coming from a reliable news medium like the “Daily Asset” that “There is heavy movement of persons believed to be strange Fulanis into the famous Pandam Game Reserve located in Qur’an Pan local government areas of Plateau State confirmed by locals” is quite disturbing when viewed from the security challenges our people and other Nigerians are going through, it is, therefore, a cause for concern which needs urgent and proactive govt intervention.
And for sources to lament that already some of their women and daughters are being raped by the foreign occupants of the Park whenever they go to look for firewood” is unacceptable and the government must rise up to its responsibilities.
The news quoting a community source hinted that as a vigilant community, “all the time, we have tried our best by informing the security agencies, and the Traditional Council but it seems nobody is taking it seriously even with what they are already doing to our people,” they cried out”, indicating clearly that the matter is beyond them and help must reach them at this critical moment.
The 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 the 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”
Alex Kwapnoe – Chairman
Pam Ayuba Dangwong – Convener