Plateau Crisis: Survivor Shares Ordeal, Calls for Help

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Amby Uneze in Owerri

A 59-year-old resident of Gashish District in Plateau State, Chibuzor Nwaobasi at the weekend narrated how he narrowly escaped being murdered during the recent onslaught on Berom ethnic communities allegedly by Fulani herdsmen.

Nwaobasi, a former police officer and a trader of Igbo extraction, shared his order during an interview with THISDAY, alleging that the assailants targeted indigenes and people, who are living and earning living in any Berom ethnic community.

He noted that he could not have been alive if he did not travel to Jos, the Plateau capital, where he spent a weekend with the family of his sister-in-law.

Returning from Jos, where he spent weekend alongside his family members, the retired police officer said he discovered that his neighbours had been slaughtered in most gruesome manner, for no just cause.

By implication, according to him, it was obvious that my family members and I were the original target. I had fled the environment. I keep receiving death threats including members of my immediate and extended families home and abroad.

Sharing his account, Nwaobasi said, “I am living in hiding now. I have communicated to my family members everywhere, asking them not come home for now.

“For example, my family and I were targets in this killing and everybody around me have remained the focus of these killers in the name of religion. As I talk to you, I have been receiving death threats to wipe out my immediate and extended families.

“I am yet to recover from the shock. To think that my family members and I only escaped death by a whisker shocks me to the marrow. I doubt whether the horrible pictures of their bodies that I saw will ever leave my mind for the rest of my life”.

he explained the given the gory pictures of his neighbours’ dismembered bodies he saw, he would not want to live anywhere near Nigeria, especially in the light of the same Fulani herdsmen’s alleged foray into places like Enugu and Delta states, he confessed.

Being badly traumatised by the experience, he confided to THISDAY that if he had his way, he would like to live outside Nigeria, and preferably in Europe.

However, he disclosed that his sister-in-law, one Queen Opara, nee Davo, a Berom and the mother of his younger brother’s fiancée, lives in Dallas, Texas, USA.

In fact, according to the retired police officer, not only his sister-in-law but also his younger brother, Ikechukwu and his wife, Chinwe are all staying there at the moment.

He added “If beggars are choosers, he would not mind joining them there, with his family, if only to get away from the suffocating sense of insecurity he feels, at the moment, living in Jos and its environs.

“You will recall that these killers using grazing as cover up have spread to the south east and south west of the country. They target churches, individuals like me and my family because of our Christian faith and service.

“That is why, I have communicated to members of my family everywhere not come home or within areas these enemies of our country”, Nwaobasi narrated.