11 killed in Plateau crises, 50 houses razed, scores hospitalised, crops, economic trees destroyed

Fresh attacks in various parts of   have resulted in the death of 11 persons  with  over 200 houses burnt, according to locals,  when armed bandits suspected to be Fulani herdsmen attacked Jebu Miango and Nche-Tahu communities in Bassa local government area  of  the state between Friday and Sunday. The police however put the figure of houses burnt at 50.

Ten persons were reportedly killed in Bassa local government area, one person was shot dead in Gwa Rim community in Riyom local government area.  

According to reports, the deadly operation in Jebu Miango community which occurred in the wee hours of Sunday lasted about 4 hours, leaving several people, including women and children badly injured.

A lawmaker representing Rukuba/Irigwe Constituency in the Plateau state House of Assembly, Hon Musa Agah Avia, confirmed the incident which he blamed on delayed intervention by security men.

“It is terrible, my people are helpless. These armed men, the Fulani, attacked Jebu/Miango last night. For now, three corpses have been recovered and well over 200 houses burnt,” he said.

But in yet another account, a community leader who gave his name as Joshua Lawrence, said seven corpses were recovered and nine persons hospitalised.

 Speaking further on the fracas, the lawmaker said:  “As we speak, people are still moving from one house to another to identify the level of damage. Because the destroyed houses are many, one cannot rule out that there could be more corpses which I am not praying for.”

Avia further said several gadgets and television sets were stolen and destroyed, while dozens sustained injuries resulting from gunshots.

The lawmaker said several farmlands with unripe maize and other crops were also cut down by the bandits, leaving the people in despair and agony.

Niche-Tau, Ryom attacks

Also in another attack, the Miango Youth Development Association (MYDA)  said  four persons, including  Timothy Yakubu, Audu Dara, and Irimia David were killed Friday in Nche-Tahu community of the same local government area.  

Similarly, 10 houses were also said to have been set ablaze in the early morning attack.

MYDA Publicity Secretary Nuhu Bitrus who spoke on behalf of the group, also said two other persons identified as Francis Ayuba and Anah Dick sustained gunshot injuries and rushed to Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH).

Bitrus said: “It was last night that the gunmen attacked Nche–Tahu community in Miango, Bassa Local Council. They killed three of our people and injured two others. Ten houses were burnt in the same Nche- Tahu village and valuable items, including domestic animals were carted away by suspected Fulani herdsmen.”

And from  yet another attack,  one person was shot dead  same day in Gwa Rim community in Riyom local government area of the state.

An official of the Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria, Mr. Dalyop Solomon, said one Amos Danladi was killed.

According to him, the gunmen also destroyed farm crops in the neighbouring Jol community before fleeing off.

‘Security beefed up’

And in a reaction, spokesman of the state Police Command, Ubah Ogaba, said security was already deployed in the affected areas, while investigations had commenced into the incidents.

Rafin Bawa attack

But in its account of Saturday attack, the state police command said four persons were killed at Rafin Bawna village of Bassa local government area in a renewed hostility between Irigwe tribe and Fulani herders.

ASP Ogaba said  in a statement Sunday that the command received a distress call from the area Saturday.

 “Unfortunately, fifty houses were torched and four natives were also shot dead. Upon receipt of the report, the tactical team of the Command were immediately deployed to the scene to tighten the security of the area and to restore peace.

 “The Commissioner of Police, CP Edward Egbuka,  with other senior Officers of the Command, visited the scene and ordered a discreet investigation to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act,” Ogaba said.

He added that normalcy had since been restored in the area.

A local source told Blueprint that scores of people sustained various degrees of injuries from gunshots.

With additional report from Premium Times