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Crime

TruthNigeria reveals how 100 plateau Women raped by Land-grabbing Territorists

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TruthNigeria reveals how 100 plateau Women raped by Land-grabbing Territorists

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A report by TruthNigeria media organization revealed that over hundred women in plateau State are raped by land grabbers who are terrorists.

TruthNigeria in the report through their Jos correspondent says Farmers cling to their plots in burned-over Plateau State, knowing their choice is between the devil and the deep blue sea, TruthNigeria has learned.

If they venture out of defined enclaves for displaced families to farm, they will be murdered. Women who try their hand at artisanal mining can be raped. Do nothing, and they starve.

That’s been the dilemma of 24-year-old Esther Zakka and her husband, who live in one of the most populated and least understood nations in Africa: Nigeria. A complex, deadly process of Islamization by force in Plateau State alone has killed more than 1,300 Christians between December, 2023 and February 2024, as per Amnesty International. The conflict is often misnamed a “civil war,” but that’s misleading. In fact, there are no roving bands of Christian militia hunting down Muslim citizens, but the reverse is true.

Although six months pregnant, on June 14 Mrs. Zakka was raped by Islamist terrorists who attacked her as she trekked home from a tin-mining camp 35 miles southwest of Jos, the capital of Plateau State. She and her husband are displaced residents, having lost their houses in 2018 when terrorist marauders burned them out. Due to persisting threats, they have been unable to till their farm plots just 2 miles away in Riyom County.

Faced with limited options for survival, Zakka and her husband recently turned to risky, illegal artisanal mining in a farm area just one mile from their village of Tarai. They live in the cluster of villages known as Jol, which has hosted a prominent terrorist camp known as Mahanga for two decades. Since September 11, 2001, Mahanga has become a no-go zone for Christians and serves as a staging ground for terror attacks in the area, according to Samuel Jok, the traditional leader of Riyom.

100 Women Raped in one year
TruthNigeria can exclusively report that Zakka is among more than 100 women and girls who have endured sexual violence at the hands of terrorists and traffickers in the past year, according to Mrs. Caroline Dafur, the Plateau State Commissioner of Women Affairs.

Documentation of rape by terrorists has remained low, although the number of unreported cases is high, said Jonathan Akuns, a former economist at the Nigerian Central Bank, to TruthNigeria.

“There are practically no reported cases of such violations in [my community],” wrote Akuns, the mayor of Daffo, a farm district south of Jos. Akuns cited stigma as the reason for low reportage.

But Ms. Jummai Monday was the exception that proved the rule. She told TruthNigeria she was raped just one mile from the busy Third Division Small Arms Range of the Nigerian Army. She said she no longer feels safe trekking to attend school in the town of Miyango. This follows after Fulani terrorists raped her and killed her family members in her village of Ariri.

Just last May, Fulani terrorists killed one resident close to Ariri. The attack in the victim’s corn farm in Maiyanga village on May 7, 2024 followed just weeks after terrorists killed three of her relatives and injured her brother on February 18. These incidents have instilled fear and insecurity among the residents, especially the young girls attending school in the area, she told TruthNigeria.

A Woman’s Trauma, a Nation’s Shame
While slowly trekking in the sparsely forested area at 2pm, carrying a bucket of mining tools on her head, Zakka was accosted by two armed Fulani men. This disturbing incident sheds light on the ongoing threats and safety concerns faced by residents in the region.

“They suddenly appeared and ordered me to stop, but I kept moving, sensing the danger,” said Zakka to TruthNigeria.

“One of them ran and stood in front of me and ordered me to lie down,” Zakka said. “I started to plead with them, saying I was pregnant, but they threatened to kill me if I didn’t comply,” Zakka recalled.

“I threw my luggage off and attempted to run, but they grabbed and threw me on the ground,” Zakka related. “One of them instantly choked my neck with a robe while the other kicked me in the belly several times with his legs before jumping on me,” she narrated. “While struggling for my life, I managed to grab my phone and dial a random number which turned out to be my husband’s brother, who was also at the mining camp,” she said. Her husband, Zakka Gyang, told TruthNigeria he was alerted to the sound of the chaos when his brother answered the phone and quickly mobilized locals to intervene.

“We got to the scene as soon as we could, but it was too late,” Gyang said. “By the time we arrived, she had already lost strength and was barely breathing,” he said. “One of them fled on sighting us, but we apprehended the other who is now with the police,” he said.

Officials at the Plateau State police command have not responded to queries from TruthNigeria. However, a detective investigating the case revealed to TruthNigeria on background that the suspects had planned to murder Mrs. Zakka after raping her.

Rape as a tool of Ethnic Cleansing
In recent months, dozens of residents have been attacked in their farms in Riyom, said Mrs. Florence Jambol, the women’s leader of the Berom tribe, which dominates the area. Many female residents have been raped and even killed in the ongoing attacks, forcing a good number to avoid their farms, with some permanently relocating to safer areas, said Jambol.

“Only farms located within a 1-mile radius of surviving communities – those guarded by soldiers – are accessible,” said Jambol in a telephone interview. “Even so, people have to go in groups to reduce chances of attacks,” Jambol said. “Those farther away have literally been deserted, and the Fulani are now setting up camps in them,” she added.

A rape such as that suffered by Mrs. Zakka is just the tip of the iceberg, according to local town leader Gastor Barry. Such threats deter up to 20,000 schoolgirls from attending school in nearby Bassa county,

“In Bassa, the number of people displaced by recent attacks is over 48,000,” said Barry to TruthNigeria. “Over 75 percent of that number are school-age children, the majority of whom are girls,” Barry said in a telephone interview. “Many of these people can no longer go to school due to the threats of attacks and even rape,” he said, highlighting an ongoing silence by police and military authorities on a recent sexual assault of a female student near an army base in Bassa last February.

The Plateau State sexual violence has drawn a condemnation from the spokeswoman for the Berom Tribal Community in the United States.

“With so much sadness in my heart I unequivocally condemn the rape our women by the Fulani terrorists,” wrote Felicia Chomo Sodipe, President Berom Community North America. “This cowardly act must never be condoned by anyone who understands the dignity of a woman. I am calling on the Nigerian government to go after the perpetrators of this crime and to prosecute them to the full extent of the law,” Sodipe wrote.

President Bola Tinubu repeatedly promised during his presidential campaign in 2023 that he would end Nigeria’s nightmare of lawlessness euphemistically called “insecurity.” Only time will tell whether the patience and limitless faith of the Plateau Christian farmers will enable them to prevail until then.

Sources: TruthNigeria

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