Gunmen slay nine family members in Plateau
Hunt down perpetrators, Lalong orders security forces
Gunmen have killed nine members of a family in Maikatako community, Bokkos Local Council of Plateau State, hours after President Muhammadu Buhari kick-started the All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign in Jos.
The Guardian gathered from residents that gunmen stormed the community around 9.30 p.m. on Tuesday and started shooting sporadically.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Alfred Alabo, said on the phone, yesterday, that the police were on top of the situation and were going after the assailants. He promised to give full details of the incident as soon as possible.
While the residents accused Fulani militia, who had reportedly been terrorising them in the past, a herder in the area, Umar Soho, said any attack of that nature should not be pinned on herdsmen, as they had signed a peace accord.
“There is no other ethnic nationality we can suspect apart from the Fulani,” the residents said.
Former Councillor of Butura Ward in Bokkos, Josiah Mahwash, and another resident, Rafan James, confirmed the incident.
The Military Information Officer (MIO), Capt. Oya James of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), did not pick up the calls put through to him.
CONSEQUENTLY, Governor Simon Lalong has ordered security forces to go after the terrorists till they are hunted down.
Condemning the attack, Lalong said the killers must be fished out and brought to justice.
Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor, Dr. Makut Macham, yesterday, quoted the governor as saying that the attacks and destruction of farm crops, livestock and other property within Bokkos were becoming worrisome and must be checked immediately.
According to Macham, while sympathising with families of the victims, the governor reiterated that his administration would not allow bandits to take hold of any part of the state, as all security agencies had been directed to be hard on any person or group behind the criminal acts.
He appealed to communities to be security-conscious always and report any suspicious movement to the security agencies for immediate action, particularly during the forthcoming Yuletide.
Commander of OPSH/General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3 Armoured Division, Maj-Gen. Ibrahim Ali, paid an assessment visit to Maikatako village where he inspected the property destroyed.
The Chairman, of Bokkos Local Council, Joseph Guluwa; Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Barnard Matur and former chairman of Bokkos, Luka Makut were also at the community to sympathise with the families.
Meanwhile, some public affairs watchers, citing instances, noted that anytime Buhari visited Jos, it was always followed by an attack on Bokkos, which is about 78 kilometres away.