Gunmen, herders kill 43 in Plateau, Benue states – Nexus News

There was a vicious attack in Jos, Plateau State capital, and Benue State on Tuesday night, following the killing of 43 people in different attacks.

Thirty-five persons were killed in different attacks in Yelwa Zangam in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.

Also, eight were killed in Yelawa, Guma  Local Government Area of Benue State.

Among those killed was a family of 16, burnt to death in Plateau and a mother and four kids, murdered in Benue.

The latest violent attack in Plateau increased the number of  lives lost  to attacks in the state for the past 11 days to 58.

On August 15,  23 muslim faithful travelling to Ondo State on their way from a religious event in Bauchi, capital of Bauchi State met their untimely death when their bus ran into a group of irate youths on Gada -Biyu – Rukuba Road in Jos North.

Nexus News media had previously reported this. 

The incident led to the imposition of a 24-hour curfew on Jos North  by the State Governor, Simon Lalong. The governor, who later relaxed the curfew, re-imposed it after the Tuesday night killings.

Despite the curfew, yesterday, angry youths took to the streets of Jos in protest against  the orgy of killings.

They picked up the bodies in Yelwa Zangam, loaded them in trucks and marched to the Government House and the House of Assembly complex.

It was gathered that the youth were prevented from entering the Government House residence in the Rayfield area of Jos by security agents. They dumped some of the bodies at the gate.

They claimed that among the 35 dead were 16 members of a family, who were burnt in their house by the gunmen.

An eye witness told  reporters  that  the gunmen moved into the community at about 9pm, setting houses ablaze and shooting at  anyone in sight.

He also added that the invaders disabled a bridge connecting Yelwa Zangam and  Naraguta  before launching the attack.

Gabriel Ubah, Police spokesman who confirmed the attack, did not give details.

He said: “We are aware of an incident in the area. I will brief you later.” As of 9.30 pm yesterday, he was yet to do so.

It was also gathered that 10 suspects were arrested by security operatives.

Newsmen gathered that the eight persons killed  in Yelawa included  a housewife and her four children.

Yelewa,  a border community between Nassarwa and Benue states is situated along the Makurdi- Lafia Highway.

Franc Utoo , Senior Special Assistant to Governor Samuel Ortom on Projects Monitoring and an indigene of the community stated that:  ”Last(Tuesday) night, herdsmen invade Yelewa and killed a housewife and her four children.

“ The woman was preparing supper for the little kids who were playing around. Four other people were also killed during the attack.”

Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) Brig – Gen. Clement Afere, affirmed the incident, saying: “ It’s true.”

Lalong damned the attack as a  ”barbaric act”  and ordered security agencies to track down the perpetrators and their sponsors.

He said in a press release by his spokesman, Dr. Makut Macham, that the attack was carefully planned.

The governor, who sympathised with the victims, called for calm, urging those in Jos North council to adhere to the 24-hour curfew.

He also added that the dusk-to-dawn curfew in Jos South and Bassa LGAs will remain until further notice.

Abok Ayuba, Speaker of the House of Assembly  who received the protesting youths, called for calm and restraint.

The youths urged Ayuba to communicate with other arms of government to end the crisis in the area.

The Speaker said: “We  are all affected by what is happening in Plateau State. But please, calm down as the government is doing everything possible to end the killings.

“We are your representatives. We are going to follow up with relevant authorities to ensure that peace returns to the state.”

National Assembly members, including Ahmed   Wase, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, flayed the killings and called for the arrest of the invaders.

The other lawmakers are Senators  Hezekiah Dimka (Plateau Central),Nora Dadu’ut  and Istifanus Gyang (Plateau North)

Wase said in a communiqué by his Chief Press Secretary, Umar Puma, that the incident was ‘inhuman, senseless and unwarranted.

He  sympathized with the bereaved families and other citizens, urging them to continue to support measures aimed at bringing “these ugly attacks under control.”

Dimka urged the people to be on the alert and work with security agencies as they investigate the sad incidents.

Gyang  noted that he was pained that  the people of Plateau State  had  been left to their fate by the Federal Government.

In her statement, Dadu’ut called on the government to take vital and decisive actions to apprehend and prosecute those behind the violent attack.

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