News July 10, 2012 at 12:00 am

Outraged Youths in Nigeria Protest Over the Killing of Two Lawmakers

Stephanie Shaw July 10, 2012 at 12:00 am

July 10, 2012 at 12:00 am | News

Senator Gyang Dantong and the Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani, have been killed.

The lawmakers were attending a mass burial of over 50 victims of the Saturday attacks on villagers in Barkin Ladi and Riyom local government area (LGA).

Saturday’s victims were mostly women and children who were burned to death while seeking shelter from the rash of village attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen. The victims were inside the home of the pastor of the Church of Christ when the house was lit on fire.

Dantong and Fulani were shot and killed at the site of the mass burial, Maseh village in Riyom LGA. Dantong, the senator representing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health.

These killings have incited outraged youths to protest what they refer to as genocide by the Fulani against the Berom people. The protest took place on the Jos-Riyom highway, forcing travelers to turn back to avoid the demonstration.

The Director of Center for the Advocacy of Justice and Rights, Gad Peter, has condemned Nigeria’s government and security. He believes that they have not done enough to protect their people. In a statement he said, "It is a clear indictment of the inability of the Special Task Force and the Federal Government to provide security for the citizens of Plateau State. It is also a clear statement that we are no longer safe in this country…we demand the mass retirement of all security chiefs and for Mr. President to give us a roadmap on how he intends to solve the Plateau crises and other issues of insecurity in the Northern part of the country within two weeks…we use this opportunity to appeal to the people of Plateau State not to take the law into their hands.”

The government has imposed a curfew on some areas while attempting to crackdown on the student protestors. The students, however, criticized security for focusing on a non-violent demonstration rather than the lives taken.

The next few weeks will determine whether the Nigerian government is curtailing these violent attacks.

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