At least five persons have been killed and eight severely injured in fresh attacks allegedly perpetrated by armed Fulani herders in Jebbu-Miango village, in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.
Houses were equally razed in the attacks which took place on Thursday night.
This is even as Governor Simon Lalong denied ceding any portion of Plateau land for cattle colony, adding that he did not contemplate cattle colony, neither did he have it in his imagination.
Confirming the attack, the state’s Police Public Relation Officer, Tyopev Terna put the death figure at three. He said: “Yesterday (Friday) at about 1900hrs, the Police Division in Bassa Local Government Area received a distress call that Jebbu-Miango in Bassa was under attack. The Division immediately informed the Command and we mobilised to the place.
“While we were close to the village, the armed men suspected to be Fulani herdsman sighted us and took to their heels.
“Three people were killed and burnt by the armed men: One Danlami Gomaster of Kwall District and one Emmanuel Audu of Jebbu-Miango were identified while the last person is yet to be identified. Eight other persons sustained various degrees of gunshot injuries and were taken to Enos Hospital in Bassa for treatment. 20 housing units were also set ablaze.”
But disagreeing with the death figure, President of Irigwe Development Association (IDA), Mr. Sunday Abdu said aside from the three that were killed and set ablaze along the way in the car they boarded from a Jos market to the village, two others were killed in the village by the same herders.
He lamented that in spite of the repeated alarm raised about imminent attack by Fulani herders, the security agents did not take proactive measures to protect the people.
Also condemning the attack on the people, the Publicity Secretary of IDA, Malakai Gulu said the gunmen opened fire on the vehicle conveying travelers from Jos, killing the three on board before setting their remains on fire in the car.
He said the attackers extended the rage into nearby villages, resulting in more casualties and burning of houses.
This becomes the third attack by herdsmen on Miango villages in one week, resulting in over ten deaths, with several others sustaining various degree of injuries.
Security agents have linked the attacks to reprisals by the Fulani who had last week reported loss of some cattle to suspected Irigwe youths.
Meanwhile, after a second thought, Lalong, yesterday rejected the proposal by the Federal Government for cattle colonies.
The governor also described as “false, malicious and highly mischievous”, the reports in the social media that he had carved out parts of Riyom, Barkin Ladi and Bokkos local government areas for the creation of cattle colonies.
In a press statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dan Majang, Lalong advised all peace-loving citizens of Plateau State to “discountenance such mischievous information” and gravitate towards issues of unity, rather than those that divide them.
“Governor Simon Bako Lalong has and does not contemplate such action and he further calls on all good citizens of Plateau to bury such imagination of these elements bent on throwing the state into confusion. Cattle colonies are not in the imagination of Governor Lalong”, the statement affirmed.