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Fear grips residents as Plateau deaths rise to 40, Fulani gunmen burn 75 houses

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[FILES] Lalong. Photo/TWITTER/PLSGOV

Since the outbreak of violence in Miango, Bassa Local Council of Plateau State last week where seven were reportedly killed and 75 houses burnt, the number of causalities is said to have risen from 20 to 40 as natives repel attacks.

Confirming the development to journalists, the National Public Relations Officer of Irigwe Youth Movement, Lawrence Zango, said the attack was carried out by suspected Fulani terrorists for eight hours which began from 7 p.m. on Sunday till 3 a.m., without intervention by the police despite the presence of mobile police officers in the area.

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According to Zongo: “The terrorist group killed seven residents while nine survived gunshots. Seventy-five houses have been burnt, including foodstuffs. Crops belonging to different people have also been destroyed, many displaced and relocated to Jos and inside Miango district.

“We are calling on the international community to come to our aid because the government has disappointed us for long, by allowing us to be at the mercy of gunmen.”

However, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Ubah Ogaba, said they had been on the situation to unravel those behind the attack adding that only four died while 50 houses were burnt by the assailants.

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Attempt to speak with the Miango spokesman, Nuhu Bitrus, on the issue was abortive stating that comments would not be made until there is a full record of the situation.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the state, Mallam Nura Mohammed, has revealed that the Irigwe militants went after the Fulani, killing six, increasing the number of casualties from both sides to 41.

A senior lecturer of the Association of National Accountancy of Nigeria University, Kwall in Bassa Local Government Area told The Guardian the school authority had stopped lectures as the staff was advised to stay at home until peace was restored.

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According to a source, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) has debunked stories making the rounds that many residents of Kpachudu village and other neighborhoods were dislodged by the invaders adding that it was the soldiers who ordered women and children to leave the area.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Edward Egbuka, has said the governor has ordered security operatives to reinforce and contain the situation, warning perpetrators to surrender.

“This is the sound of warning to the people involved in perpetrating these violent acts. The leaders will be arrested. There are records of leaders that are on bail temporarily, and some of them have been fingered in these attacks. Nobody will be spared. Human life is sacrosanct and nobody can take it at will. There is a government in place and it will not accept lawlessness,” he said.

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Reacting to the situation, the President of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Rev. Stephen Baba Panya,while addressing the press at its headquarters in Jos explained that many of the villages where the killings and burnings took place were located behind the 3 Armoured Division Barracks of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies.

In a related development, a student of Government Technical College, Bukuru, Plateau State, has reportedly stabbed his Physics teacher, Jots Dashe, to death after he was punished.

It was alleged that the student, Odey Romeo, who is now in the custody of the police stabbed the teacher in the chest after he was flogged by the teacher for going late to cafeteria during breakfast.

It was gathered that during a visit by mother of the student to the family of the deceased, she revealed that her son had been manifesting signs of belonging to a cult before the incident occurred.

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