Ranwianku is a small community of the Irigwe (Miango) people approximately 30km west of Jos City Center. It is a few kilometers off Jebu Miango – Miango road, 3km from the Rukkuba Army Barrack; close to the Army shooting range. With this proximity to the military barracks, no one would expect that this village could be visited with this kind of barbaric incident; it goes to show how the desperate perpetrators of Plateau carnages are and how vulnerable the Nigerian security have become in this situation.
According to Baba Toma (one of the eye witnesses) to this incident, the first gun shot was heard at around 2.00pm. This was reported to the soldier men who were at the road block in Miango town but nothing happened then until night time. Toma said at around 11.00pm his community was suddenly woken to sounds from gun shots within the village.
The villagers were terrified, wailing and rushing out of their houses. Mr. Toma said, looking through his window (which was still open at that time) he was terrified, seeing his neighbor’s house on fire but when he saw many people standing by the entrances of their homes; that gave him confidence to come out.
Most witnesses, who spoke to Stefanos Foundation, testified that the attackers were speaking Fulani language. When asked if any fulani lived in the village, Mr. Toma said they use to have Fulani neighbors but since the 2001 Jos crisis, they all left the village. Although he said they do come to graze their cattle around the village from time to time but he noticed that the Fulani headsmen did not come around much the week before the attack.
Stefanos Foundation recorded the following losses from the village. Mr. Umaru Hole lost his wife and 3 of his children; One Bitrus Peide lost his mother; an older woman who couldn’t escape the attackers. He also lost 9 rooms of his home to the fires; Monday Gazah’s house was also burnt, his little daughter was shot on the leg and his son was lucky that one of the bullets only brushed his leg; One young boy brutally macheted ; Sunday Audu and Sunday Rogo both lost one cow each, as the attackers also targeted and killed the animals; 21 houses burnt. In all, this community has lost 6 people; an old woman, a younger woman, a young boy and 3 other children. They were all buried in one grave in the morning of 26th October 2010.
Many sympathizers turned up for the funeral and gave words of encouragement. Many Clergy spoke to console the people. One who read from 2Cor. 4: 7 – 11, encouraged the villagers to eschew violence and leave vengeance to God. He said. “We are not abandoned. Although struck down, but not destroyed and that though we are always given to death for Jesus’ sake, His life is being revealed in our mortal bodies.
The State Governor also sent his condolences through the Permanent Secretary on security. The Commander of the Military was also present and spoke to assure the people of their commitment to bringing lasting peace in the state. The village head who spoke through a representative, pleaded with the villagers not to think of revenge and appealed to the government to help the victims of this incident and consider fixing the dilapidated road to the village. The Youth leaders and other top people in the Local Government Area also spoke to calm the villagers.
Stefanos Foundation is presently seeking for support to help provide emergency relief to the victims and to also organize some trauma counseling workshops for them. We urge supporters to stand with us as we seek to visit these victims in their afflictions.
Mark reports from Jos. Please contact Mark of Stefanos Foundation directly at mail address below.