Thirty-Two people were killed yesterday when suspected Fulani gunmen attacked Bolgan, Karkashi and Magama villages in Langtang South Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The suspected Fulani gunmen allegedly invaded the villages in the early hours of yesterday, setting several homes ablaze.
At the time of filing this report, over 3,000 displaced persons from the villages had relocated to Mabudi, the headquarters of the local government.
Most of them were occupying primary schools and markets for shelter. Majority of them were women, children and the aged.
Most of the primary and secondary schools in Mabudi were closed down to allow the displaced persons have shelter.
It was learnt that secondary school pupils, who are writing their National Examinations Council (NECO) examinations were mostly affected by the attack.
Mathew Ponfa, a resident of Mabudi, said he lost two of his younger brothers and his sister-in-law to the attack.
According to him, several households in the villages could not find their relations.
Ponfa said scores of villagers were still combing the bushes in desperate search for their relatives.
An eyewitness said the gunmen chased their victims on motorcycles and shot them at close range.
Bolgang, it was learnt, was razed down by the gunmen after they killed nine residents. Other residents escaped to different directions.
The attackers killed the villagers and burnt their homes as men of the Special Task Force (STF) on Jos Crises, code-named Operation Safe Haven, reportedly failed to respond to the villagers’ distress calls.
A source said the casualties would have been minimal, if the troops had responded early when they were told the gunmen were on their way to attack the villages.
It was also learnt that the death toll at Magama was the highest. The victims were said to be mostly children and the aged.
Rev. Nandip Miri, the chairman of the Regional Church Council (RCC) of the Church of Christ in Nation (COCIN), said he lost his aged father and brother, among other relatives, in the attack.
The senator representing Plateau South in the National Assembly, Victor Lar, expressed shock over the renewed violence.
He described the situation as unfortunate. The senator noted that the government has done all it could to restore peace in the zone.
Lar urged the people to remain calm and cooperate with security agencies, who he said are empowered to deal with such situations.
But the police command said it had not been briefed on the attack and could, therefore, not confirm the casualty figure.
The Chairman, Management Committee of Langtang South Local Government Area, Nanman Darko, however, confirmed the attack.
He said over 32 people from the local government were killed by the suspected Fulani gunmen.
The council chief explained that following his report to the STF, troops were moved to the affected villages to restore order and prevent further attacks.
Darko said yesterday’s attack was the worst the residents had witnessed in recent time.
He described the gunmen as heartless and barbaric.
Source: The Nation