A fresh outbreak of violence in Plateau State has claimed the lives of no fewer than six persons in Gwande village in Bokkos Local Government Area.
THISDAY gathered monday that four people were killed when gunmen, suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, attacked the village to avenge the killing of two of their kinsmen, forcing residents to flee their homes to safety.
The latest attack is regarded as blow to the peace efforts being made by the state government towards resolving the protracted crisis between the Fulani herdsmen and their host communities.
It was gathered that no fewer than 100 gunmen invaded the community in reprisals following the alleged killing of the two Fulani herdsmen in the area.
The two herdsmen earlier killed, THISDAY gathered, were among six gunmen that on Saturday night attacked the village and were repelled by the youths of the community.
Angered by the development, the gunmen allegedly went to regroup and stormed the village on Sunday night, burning houses and killing four persons in the community.
A resident of the community said it was the quick intervention of the soldiers of the Special Task Force (STF) that saved the death toll from being higher.
A former councillor representing the area, Mr. Arut Bulus, told reporters yesterday that the attackers went back to the village on Sunday night to avenge the death of two of them that were killed in the earlier attack.
Bulus confirmed that the villagers have all abandoned their homes for fear of more attacks.
Spokesman of the STF, Captain Salisu Mustapha, who confirmed the development in Jos yesterday, said STF had received distress calls from the community and immediately responded.
He said the sector commander of the area had been alerted “and right now, he has mobilised his men to beat back the invaders and ward off further attacks.”
Also confirming the incident, a member representing Bokkos constituency in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Titus Ayuba Alams, told reporters on the phone that four people were killed in the recent attack.
He appealed to the STF to send more troops to prevent breakdown of law and order in the area.
In a similar incident, the village of Pandaji in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of the state also came under attack leading to the destruction of property worth millions of Naira. But no life was lost.
Reacting to the report that the attackers were in fake soldier uniform, the Chairman of the local government, Mr. Emmanuel Loman, urged soldiers to be vigilant and fish out invaders who operate in fake uniforms to wreak havoc.
Isa Song, a Special Adviser to Governor Jonah Jang also urged the soldiers to ensure that anyone caught in fake soldier uniform is decisively dealt with.
The village head of Pandaji, Danjuma Dung also urged the government to deploy more troops in the area.
Meanwhile, relief materials donated to the state government for victims of last year’s flood disaster in the state have been gutted by fire.
The incident, it was gathered, occurred at the stores where the materials were kept in Jos North Local Government Area of the state.
Executive Secretary of the Plateau Emergency Management Agency, Alhassan Barde, who confirmed the incident, said he was yet to quantify the worth of materials destroyed.
He said the state Deputy Governor, Mr. Ignatius Longjan, had visited the scene of the incident, adding that investigation has commenced to unravel the cause of the inferno.