by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The Traditional Ruler of Mangu, Mishkaham Mwaghavul Da. John Putmang Hirse, has urged journalists in Plateau State not be sentimental but rather be objective in their reports, especially in reporting the attacks and killings in Mangu and other areas within the state, and they should have the fear of God and report news as they are.
According to him, journalists are the voice of the people, and it is only them that can tell the world the true situation, because they are professionals, and they have sworn to tell the world the truth and nothing but the truth.
The Paramount Ruler was speaking recently when members of the NUJ, led by its Chairman Plateau State Council, Mr. Paul Jatau, went to sympathize with him and donate some items to the people of Mwaghavul, who have been under attacks for some months now.
He said, they believe that “what has happened, and what is still happening – we don’t have any other place to go to,” and appealed to journalists to help proffer solutions as the voice of the people on how to overcome the happenings for peace to return in the state.
He described the day as a “great day for the Mwaghavul nation,” as the entire journalists of the state were with them physically to condole with them, and appreciated the Union on behalf of himself, Mangu Traditional Council and the entire local government for the show of love.
The Mishkaham Mwaghavul further explained that, what has happened to them is what has been happening around in some local governments, but their own is more devastating, as almost all their villages have been destroyed, lives were lost and farmlands were also destroyed.
He noted that, they are surprised by what had happened because they have been living peaceful for years, but now that it has happened, they have to find a way of healing the wounds and a way of getting together to live peaceful again.
Speaking earlier, the chairman Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Plateau State Council, Paul Jatau, expressed worry over the ongoing attacks, saying that the Union as people, who in the course of their work, have visited and reported the disturbing condition of the displaced persons, felt to identify with the victims in their own little way.
While extending their sympathy to the Mwaghavul nation and all others, who have been under siege by people who do not want the well-being of the state to continue, he stated that, “As a Union and as people, who have been reporting this issue and have seen the suffering of our people, we thought it wise to contribute our widow’s mite and show our sympathy to His Royal Highness for extension to the people.”
According to him, though members of the profession are not people who are well to do in the society, but want to identify with the victims by extending their hands of fellowship to them.
While presenting the relief materials for their support to the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs of the attacks in Mangu local government area of the State, the NUJ Chairman led other excos and some members to present the items to the survivors of the attacks through the Mishkaham Mwaghavul and National President of Mwaghavul Development Association in Jos for onward distribution to the IDPs in their various refugee camps.
The items presented include bags of maize, beans, garri, clothes, toiletries and detergents, among others.
In his own remarks, the National President of the Mwaghavul Development Association (MDA), Sir Joseph Gwankat, appreciated the journalists in the state, saying that they are privileged to have the voice of the people visiting them.
While seizing the opportunity to clarify on some misleading information making rounds that the “Mwaghavul people attacked the Fulani herdsmen,” Sir Gwankat said, “If I am sleeping and you come to attack me, you kill and burn so many places and I wake up and see you and I defend myself, have I attacked you?” he asked rhetorically.
“People have said it is a ‘clash’ between the Mwaghavul people and Fulani. Like I said, you met me working in my farm, you hit me or kill me, are we clashing? It is an attack,” he retorted, and prayed – and hoped – that government would investigate the issue to unravel the true situation and find an enduring peace not in the local government alone but the entire state.