Tragedy struck again on Sunday night when suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked the Jos South and Bassa Local Government Areas of Plateau State and killed 14 persons.
The killings came at a time when Governor Simon Lalong was in Beijing, China with President Muhammadu Buhari to participate in the 7th Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation scheduled to hold from September 3 to 4.
The latest killings came barely 24 hours after the alarm raised by the Executive Director of Stephanos Foundation, a civil rights organisation, Mark Lipdo, of fresh plots by the herdsmen to attack some villages in Plateau State.
He had said, “It is rumoured that the Fulani will sweep over Berom Land on (Sunday) September 2. This was how all the past attacks were rumoured and the security took them for granted until hundreds were wiped out, some in their sleep. Here again is another rumour!
“What will the security do? Sit down and do nothing until blood is spilt!! God, arise and defend the cause of the defenceless in the land. It is another rumour, but today rumours seem to be more authentic than government information. So sad!!!.”
Our correspondent learnt that in one of the attacks which took place at a community called Rati around Du village, close to Dogo Nahawa, the herdsmen came on motorbikes popularly called Okada and sprayed bullets sporadically on their victims killing 12 persons on the spot.
During the second incident, the assailants were said to have laid ambush for their victims in Adu village in the Kwall District, Bassa LGA around 11 pm and shot at their targets.
While one was killed on the spot and his corpse cut to pieces, the second victim was said to have died on Monday morning in the hospital.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the Plateau State Police Command, Matthias Tyopev, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, confirmed the attacks but insisted that 11 persons were killed while eight others were injured in the attack in Du.
“Eleven people lost their lives and eight were injured in the attack which took place in Lopandet, Dwei, in Du. An investigation is on to arrest the perpetrators,” he stated.
Last week in Jos, the Christian Association of Nigeria (Northern Region) held a two-day peace summit with the theme: “Sustainable peace and security in Northern Nigeria as a panacea for development”, and barely 24 hours after the meeting, suspected herdsmen struck killing eight persons, including a pastor, wife and three children.
The chairman, Committee on Public Accounts and Petition and member representing the Barkin Ladi constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Peter Gyendeng, confirmed the killing of 12 persons in an interview with our correspondent in Jos on Monday.
He said, “Despite the peace meetings, the killings have continued. The killing is not at Dogo Nahawa precisely, it is at a village called Rati around Du village, close to Dogo Nahawa at the back of Waye Foundation in the Jos South LGA.
“As of yesterday (Sunday night), the dead persons were 12 and eight injured. The persons who sustained varying degrees of injury were taken to the hospital. A delegation will be going there this (Monday) morning to ascertain the number of deaths. These people have declared war against us, that is the fact.
“One thing people should understand is that anytime there is a peace meeting, they will attack. Last week after the peace meeting organised by CAN for stakeholders, there were killings. Anytime there is something of that nature, they will attack.”
The spokesperson for the Miango Youths Development Association, Lawrence Zongo, also confirmed the killing of two persons in Bassa LGA.
He stated that so far Bassa LGA “has lost 27 persons in ambush attacks between April and September 2018.”
Zongo said, “Last (Sunday) night, there was an attack on our people around 11 pm. While one was killed on the spot and his body cut into pieces, the other person died around 3.30 am this (Monday) morning.
“It was another ambush again in Adu village in the Kwall District, Bassa LGA. They were ambushed around 11 pm on their way back home from Kwall. One died instantly after his body was cut to pieces, while the other gave up in Enos Hospital, Miango at exactly 3.30am.”