Plateau State Governor, Mr. Simon Lalong has raised the alarm over recurring killings in Bassa community of the state, describing it as worrisome; and urging security operatives to do everything to bring the situation to a halt.
The directive followed renewed attacks on villages of Kwall district by suspected Fulani herders. The herders allegedly laid ambush on four persons returning home from an outing on Sunday evening, killing three on the spot, before killing another in the village.
The governor, who also described the situation as intolerable, directed the state Peace Building Agency to visit the area and get to the root of the killings, warning that the situation must be brought under control immediately to prevent further degeneration.
He said, “I want all those involved in these crimes to be arrested and made to face the full weight of the law. While this is going on, the machinery for dialogue, reconciliation and confidence building should be vigorously pursued by the Peace Building Agency with the support of the newly constituted Inter-faith Council. We will not tolerate any act that takes us back to the dark days of violence and destruction.”
No fewer than 20 have been violently killed in herders’ attacks in the area in the past two weeks.
National President of the Irigwe Youths Movement, Mr. Ezekiel Bini who confirmed the killings yesterday, said that the victims were shot dead by gunmen who laid ambush at Nkedorong village road on Sunday evening.
Bini said that after killing three victims, the gunmen moved to another location in Zirshe village where they killed one and also set their houses on fire .
According to him, “It was yesterday evening (Sunday), four of our people who were returning from Ri-bakwa to their homes at Nkedorong village were attacked by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen at about 7:30pm.
“Those that were killed were Ezekiel Maja, 29; Emmanuel Agaba, 30; and Moses Daburu, 26, while Mr. Bitrus Ezeh, 42, sustained an injury in his right leg and is presently on admission at Enos hospital Maiyango.
“From our investigations, after killing the victims, the gunmen moved to Zirshe village and burnt some houses before making their escape. Our people are worried because this wasn’t the first time this kind of thing was happening in recent times.”
Meanwhile, the Police have summoned stakeholders’ meeting in a frantic effort to avoid the frightening escalation of killings in the area.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Ubah Ogaba said that the state Commissioner of Police had summoned a meeting with stakeholders on ways to stop further violence in the area.
Grieving over the recent attacks, Senator representing Plateau North in the National Assembly, Mr. Istifanus Gyang said he was saddened by the persistent attacks and killings of his people, adding that it is worrisome that in spite of efforts to rebuild peace in Plateau, some are still preoccupied with violence and bloodletting.
He urged government and the security agents to secure and protect law abiding citizens and communities of Plateau North and bring the culprits to justice.