Revd Dr. Gideon Para-Mallam, the President and CEO of the Para-Mallam Peace Foundation, has revealed how the distressing exploitation of a nine-year-old boy, resulted in a tragic massacre in Chirang village, Plateau State, on Christmas Eve.
As recounted by a woman who narrowly survived the incident by falling into a ditch, her son, Regard Yusuf, was deceived into leading the attackers to the place where she was hiding. This act of treachery resulted in the murder of 23 women, including Regard and his mother.
The account, provided by the survivor, was shared in a statement by the Para-Mallam Peace Foundation, revealing the chilling details of how the young boy was given false assurances about his safety before being killed alongside his mother. Among the deceased were also Veronica Mallan and her nine-month-old child, Godwin Mallan.
“The attacks have left a trail of severe injuries. A three-year-old child lies critically ill in the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) after being shot at close range, and a five-year-old girl is also receiving care at JUTH after her hand was brutally severed by attackers,” the statement added.
The Foundation strongly condemned the attacks, labeling them as a deliberate act of genocide rather than a simple conflict between farmers and herders.
It also highlighted the loss of public figures such as Hon. Sabo Abang, who was kidnapped on the same night and later found dead near his home.
Revd Dr. Para-Mallam extended his deepest sympathies to the families of the victims, Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State, and all affected Nigerians.
He criticized the tendency to misrepresent the violence as a mere clash and called out the Federal Government for its inadequate response to the crisis.
The statement emphasized the urgent need for proactive measures rather than the current reactive military responses.
It pointed out that even during a visit by a Presidential Team that included Vice President Kashim Shettima and National Security Adviser Malam Nuhu Ribadu, the violence continued unabated, with more villages coming under attack.
The silence of the international community and the lack of strong collective action within Nigeria were also questioned in the statement, which urged for a united stance against terrorism in the Middle-belt region.
Revd Dr. Para-Mallam appealed for a concerted effort to achieve sustainable peace and end the bloodshed in Plateau State. He reiterated that only decisive action, not politicization, can lead to true peace and security for the region’s inhabitants.