Death Toll In Plateau Fulani Attacks Hits 104…Serving Senator, Assembly Member Among Those Killed…Govt Imposes Curfew In Six LGs
The casualty figure in the series of attacks launched by Fulani herdsmen in parts of plateau state assumed a catastrophic increase today as a serving Senator representing Plateau north, Dr. Gyang Daylop Dantong and the majority leader of Plateau State House of Assembly who was also member representing Barakin Ladi, Hon.Gyang Fulani were today killed by gunmen, suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
The two lawmakers were reportedly killed when the gunmen invaded Maseh village in Riyom local government area during the mass burial for 63 victims of Saturday’s attack in Karkuruk in Barakin Ladi. Dantong, a two term senator, was of Berom tribe from Bachit district.
But for providence, member representing Barakin Ladi/Riyom in the House of Representatives, Hon. Simon Mwadkom and Chairman of Barkain Ladi Local Government, Mr. Emmanuel Loman, would have been among the dead as they narrowly escaped death in the latest attack that claimed the lives of the senator and others.
Though Mwadkom escaped death, he has a bitter story to tell as he was wounded in the attack and currently receiving treatment at the Barakin Ladi General Hospital.
The council boss Loman was said to have led an advanced party to another mass burial site where they were attacked. Though details of how the law makers were killed today were still sketchy, an account has it that they were killed when the gunmen attacked their convoy before getting to the burial site while another source said that the gunmen swooped on those at the burial from the Maseh hills.
The latest attack came even as reports show that not fewer than 50 persons were burned to death in the house of a pastor of the Church of Christ in Nigeria in Matse village, Riyom Local Government Area of the state. The victims were said to be taking refuge in the pastor’s house following attacks on their village by Fulani herdsmen on Saturday. The attackers were said to have gotten wind of the presence of the victims in the church and surrounded the church and then set it ablaze with the victims trapped inside. They were also said to have ensured that nobody escaped as they stood by to gun down those trying to escape.
Special Adviser on Security to Governor Jonah Jang, Mr. Istifanus Gyang confirmed the development even as angry youths blocked the Jos – Abuja and Barakin Ladi Abuja road, forcing motorists to make a detour to wherever they were coming from to avoid being caught in the crisis.
A statement by the Special Task Force claimed that 14 locals were killed while 21 of the assailants also died in a shootout between the STF and the gunmen. STF spokesman, Capt Salihu Mustapha, confirmed that the attackers were heavily armed with different assault uniforms with bullet proof vests, killing and burning houses. Mustapha also confirmed that two soldiers were killed in a shootout with the gunmen
Meanwhile, the Plateau state government has imposed a dusk to dawn curfew in four local government areas of the state.
In a statement broadcast on the local radio, the state government said curfew has been imposed on Jos North, Jos South, Barakin Ladi and Riyom local government areas from 7:30pm on Sunday to 7:00am on Monday and from 6:00pm to 7:00am from Monday onwards.