22 Killed As Gunmen Invade Plateau Village
The orgy of killings in Plateau State continued Thursday as gunmen attacked Mavo village in Wase Local Government Area, killing 22 people.
The attack came two days after early dawn attacks on two villages in Riyom Local Government Area in which no fewer than 30 people were killed.
Worried by the killings, Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called on the federal government to urgently intervene to guarantee the safety of lives in the affected areas.
An eyewitness from the village, who gave his name as Nangak, told reporters in Jos that gunmen stormed the village at about 2 am and set their houses on fire.
The gunmen, who laid ambush for the villagers, opened fire on them as they were trying to flee from the inferno.
Another resident, who spoke with THISDAY on the phone, confirmed that over 10 houses were razed in the inferno.
Irked by the attack, youths of the community mobilised one another for a protest that was quickly repelled by security operatives.
Wase Local Government Area has become a tinderbox in recent times as Taroh and Fulani in the area have been at loggerheads.
The Interim Administrator of the local government, Mr. Zakari Haruna, who confirmed the attack, however declined to speak on the casualty figure.
He said peace had been restored to the community.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Felicia Anslem, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), also confirmed the attack, but said she was yet to be fully briefed on the extent of damage and the casualty figure.
Meanwhile, the leadership of CAN in Kaduna State yesterday urged the federal government to address the frequent attacks on communities in the Southern part of the state and Plateau State before the situation degenerates into genocide.
The state chairman of the association, Bishop George Dodo, at a press conference in Kaduna, also condemned the weekend killing of Zaria-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Mohammed Awwal-Albani, along with his son and wife.
Dodo said the attacks being unleashed on communities in Kaduna and Plateau States were unacceptable, more so that the perpetrators always got away without being arrested.
According to him, those who committed the atrocities are not ‘spirits’ but human beings and there is no reason why they cannot be arrested if security agents are ready to effectively discharge their responsibilities.
He urged the security operatives to search the bushes bordering the two states, where the bandits are suspected to be hiding in a bid to fish out the killers.
Dodo warned that failure of the government to arrest those engaged in the senseless killings in the two states might force the citizens to resort to self-help to protect themselves.
He said the government must wake up to its responsibilities of safeguarding the lives and property of citizens by fishing out the perpetrators of “these evil doers” and punish them in accordance with the law.
“The deteriorating state of security of lives and property of the people in Kaduna State, especially the southern part in the recent past, and the seeming inability of our security agencies to curb the trend has necessitated this press conference. This situation is simply unfortunate.
“There must be determined steps taken by security agencies to comb the area with a view to flushing out the terrorists in that area and ensuring the security of lives and property of the people.