THE TRUTH, FACTS AND DISTORTED STORIES
Ordinarily, one wouldn’t have dignified Lami Sadiq for her mischievous, malicious, callous, biased and inciting post made in Daily Trust on 30th July, 2017 due to her unending hatred, disdain and unhealthy sentiments against the Berom Nation for reasons best known to her but for the sake of correcting the misinformation, misrepresentation and setting the distorted historical information straight, it becomes imperative writing this rejoinder.
Journalists are people who are believed to be truthful, objective, report factual, reliable and unbiased information. But the case of Lami Sadiq is completely in deviance to the mentioned qualities as the news in question is capable of reigniting violence and stirring anger as well as adding salt to the unhealed wounds in the hearts of the people who have been greatly affected by the violence in Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Plateau State and well-meaning Nigerians. She craftily biased her article to the advantage of the militias who have tormented the native land owners.
One thing she deliberately refused to tell her audience is which Local Government Area or Ward Rankum (Mahanga) is but she twisted and distorted the description in order to massage the ego of those who sponsored her as seen in her highly inflammable reportage.
Rankum (now being referred to as Mahanga) is a harmlet in Jol Ward in Riyom LGA of Plateau State, a community whose indigenes (Berom) were predominantly farmers (engaged in commercial crop production and animal husbandry) due to its fertile soil and rich vegetation. The locals were illegally sacked by heavily armed militias in 2001 without any provocation in the name of Jihad. A handful of the natives were engaged in informal Tin Mining activities which was one of their productive commercial activities. Rankum community is the most fertile soil in Jol Ward which made it possible for its inhabitants to produce crops in commercial quantities and all through the years (both raining and irrigation farming).
Rankum electoral Polling Unit is Rafin Acha (Rot-Chun, the name means Acha River which the first settlers, Hausa couldn’t pronounce but thereafter settled for the Hausa meaning).
The name Rankum was changed to Mahanga (Focal Point in Hausa) on account of it being on a Hill after the 2001 attacks were many lost their lives, house razed and animals/assets worth millions of naira were looted. Rakum has Rakweng community in Rim Ward which was also sacked and now occupied by same militias and Sho Ward as its neighboring Communities. It has great agricultural and solid mineral potentials which are currently untapped.
The first Fulani settlers of Rankum included Alh. Shekarma, Alh. Dari Hamidu, Ali Maccido, Alh. Mudi Adamu, others who were warmly received and offered lands for free by the indigenes as Nomads. Today the School there which was established by the government after their arrival is still being called Nomadic Primary School Rafin Acha, Jol Ward Riyom LGA. So one begins to wonder why the School was not named Nomadic Primary School Mahanga when it was established.
Today, the PDP Chairman Jol Ward, Mr. Gyang Davou (popularly called Dogo by the Fulani because he is tall) is from Rankum Community though residing in Gura Lomwash in Jol since their community was sacked.
Let it be on record that the first Fulani settlers under the leadership of their Hardo, Late Dalhatu Ahmed A.K.A Ya Azizu (Children- Salisu, Musa, Sadisu, Usman and others) who was killed during the crisis lived peacefully with their host community, Jol Ward. Other well known Fulani settlers were Alh. Bawa, Tasiu Bawa, Yakubu Bawa, Alh. Malan, Barel, Alh Shehu whose families were residing between Jol and Rim, Musa Haruna, Danladi Haruna, Idi Haruna, Jije Haruna, Yusuf Haruna, Alh. Goma, Alh. Hussaini, Danjuma Hussaini, Jije Hussaini, Yahaya Hussaini, Nafiu Hussaini, Alh. Saleh and the Jautahore’s families were people who lived peacefully with the Jol people before the attacks on the community by armed militias. Since the crisis, some of them have relocated to Bauchi, Gombe, Kano etc and some working with the State governments of the mentioned States.
The militias now residing in Rankum are well armed with sophisticated weapons that even the Nigerian Security personnel do not have. They provocative boast that they have acquired the land from the natives through conquest in the name of Jihad, a situation the Local Government, State, Federal and well spirited individuals must come to the aid of the natives to ensure their forcefully acquired lands are retrieved, houses reconstruction and rehabilitation.
At this time when wounds are yet to be healed, we have a journalist who finds pleasure in inciting and mocking the natives who are peaceful, hospitable and law-abiding.
Today, Jol communities such as Rankum (Mahanga), Rot-Chun (Rafin Acha), Fass, Darin, Loton, Daku, parts of Darwat, Tarai, Tanjol, Vwak, Tashek have been sacked and illegally taken over in the name of conquest by armed militias who walk freely and fully armed at all times in the bushes, harassing the natives, raping women, mowing crops and looting anything they come in contact with that rightfully belongs to the locals.
As it stands, the people of Riyom Local Government are living in perpetual fear, intimidation and harassment by the militias in their God-given heritage any time they are engaged in their economic activities and means of livelihood.
I am hereby calling on the Local, State, Federal and security agencies to as a matter of urgency call Lami Sadiq to order as her post has already generated tension in the minds of the natives which is capable of threatening security of lives and property.
Jol people are peaceful, hospitable, law-abiding and hardworking people but that shouldn’t be taken for granted in anyway.
Thank you and God bless.
Cmr. Friday Bako
Native of Jol & Youth Activist