It was with great sadness that the news of the death of Senator Gyang Dantong the Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Honorable Gyang Fulani and over 100 others reached the nation. Hearing Honorable Daniel Dem, a representative of the Riyam Consistuency in the Plateau State House of Assembly relive the incident makes it all the more harrowing, he presented a personal account of the incident on the floor of the Assembly during an emergency sitting in honor of the dead lawmakers.
He narrated sadly: “We were all there together at the mass burial for 64 victims. There were three mass graves, two in Barkin Ladi and one in Riyom Local Government Area, which is my constituency. We decided to start with mine before going to those of Barkin Ladi. The original time of the mass burial had to be extended because the local rescue teams were still discovering more corpses from the bush. At the end of the search, we had 80 corpses of victims to bury in Barkin Ladi and we had 60 to bury in Maseh, Riyom.
“But at about 2:30 pm on the fateful Sunday, we commenced the burial first at Maseh, my constituency. While we were there, we were hearing gunshots from behind the hills, but we were not seeing them. So, we continued with what we were doing. But all of a sudden, the gunmen started jumping down from the mountains. The sight of the attackers caused people to begin to flee; everyone had to run as far as your legs could take you. The running caused serious stampede because the security agents that were among us were also running for their dear lives. We thought they would face the gunmen and repel them but they fled and you can imagine the stampede.
“It was after we ran for about two kilometers that my colleague, Hon Gyang Fulani, collapsed. Not very far from that place, we saw Senator Dantong on the ground; the same thing with Hon Mwadkwon. The rest of us were trying to revive them one after the other, but my distinguished senator could not make it, just as Hon Fulani. We got a vehicle and rushed them to the hospital but it was already late, the damage had been done. I could not believe what I saw with my eyes.
“The most pathetic situation is that corpses of over 100 people of our constituencies are lying outside without burial. This case is obviously beyond the security here. The Federal Government needs to send more troops to help because while those killed are yet to be buried, the gunmen are still around and the information reaching us is that they are going to raid more villages.”
His recount of the incident left no dry eye in the House and prompted a general outcry at the alarming increase of violence in the country and the lack of protection that the citizens are forced to bear.
The good people of Nigeria hope and pray that this trying time will cease before this country becomes a shell of its former self, but most of all the question that stands critical is ‘who will bury the dead when there is no one left alive?” Nigeria needs your prayers.by