Atleast 103 corpses have been recovered following attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen on some communities in Jos, Plateau state, in the north central, Nigeria and retaliation by locals who claimed to have taken up arms in self defence.
The attacks which happened across three local government areas in the state on Saturday led to the deaths of over 100 people.
The Plateau state police command spokesperson, ASP Mathias Tyopev, had earlier confirmed that 11 corpses have been recovered in the wake of the crisis.
Meanwhile, Community leaders in some of the areas attacked alleged that the military special task force, STF, is trying to destroy evidence of the killings.
“One Col. Bello, who is the the STF PRO along other Military Personnel, have gone to Nyer village in Barkinladi where over 80 people were killed yesterday as well as other villages where people were killed forcing them to bury the corpses as the only condition for them to get assistance by way of medical treatment to those with injuries,” a community leader, Chimfom Ayuba alleges.
Our correspondent also gathered that some soldiers were either killed or have gone missing following the outbreak of the crisis in the state on Sunday evening. But the Task Force Commander, Operation Safe Heaven in Jos, Plateau state, have dismissed the rumour, saying, ‘No Soldier is missing.’
While commiserating with the people over the unfortunate incident, particularly in Xland, Gindin Akwati communities of Barkin Ladi Local Government area and Mangu Hale in Mangu local government, the Commissioner of Information and Communications in the state, Mr. Yakubu Datti, in a statement on Monday morning, said, Government is deeply pained that despite concerted efforts which had led to the restoration of relative peace across the state, some unpatriotic elements are bent on disrupting the gains so far made.
“The Government condemns the attacks and government has mobilised the full compliments of security forces who are restoring normalcy in the affected areas and environs.
“Government holds every single life as sacred hence it has mobilized medical and relief agencies to ameliorate the distressed.
“The Rescue administration is committed to ensuring a safe and secured environment that will guarantee peaceful coexistence among the various groups in the state as it remains resolute to the well being of all people,” the statement said.
The Commissioner also appealed to citizens not to take laws into their hands and cooperate with security agencies to prevent further break down of law and order and to track perpetrators of the evil acts.
Meanwhile, the curfew imposed on the state from 6:00pm to 6:00am stands.
This is Genocide – Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has described the fresh killings in Plateau state as a genocide.
In a statement by Soja Bewarang, chairman of CAN in the state, the religious group alleged that there was a deliberate attempt to wipe out Christians.
“The killings are becoming no longer herders and farmers again but deliberate attempt to conquer and occupy the land of the peoples ancestral heritage,” the statement read.
“CAN also note with great pains the dastardly attacks ongoing in many other local government areas in the State by the herdsmen militias.
“CAN condemn in the strongest terms the level of continuous genocide of Plateau people. Barkin Ladi is under siege with more more than 200 innocent precious human lives killed and countless driven out in the rains and left without shelter. CAN is also saddened by the news of attack on CAPRO School of Missions (SOM) in Gana-Ropp by the malitia.
“CAN had yesterday made a statement concerning the incodent at Mangu Halle as very unfortunate. CAN had condemned the killings of two persons and prayed the Lord to comfort the families.”
“CAN condemns these unholy act of systematic genocide and sees it as a deliberate attempt to destroy the cultural heritage of Plateau people in particular the most affected areas. CAN calls on the Government to use its might to bring these killings to a stop,” the statement read.
Reacting to the attack, President Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration will not rest until all murderers and criminal elements and their sponsors are incapacitated and brought to justice
”The grievous loss of lives & property arising from the killings in Plateau today is painful and regrettable. My deepest condolences to the affected communities. We will not rest until all murderers and criminal elements and their sponsors are incapacitated and brought to justice, Buhari wrote via his Twitter account.