Plateau Attacks: Police Arrest Herdsman With AK-47 Rifle, Say 16 Killed

As peace gradually returns to Daffo communities in the Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau, the state police command has confirmed the arrest of a herdsman with an AK-47 rifle.

The command’s spokesman, Mr. Terna Tyopev, who confirmed the arrest on Sunday, gave the rifle’s serial number as HC2614.

He said the herdsman, Muhammadu Bimini, was arrested by riot policemen on March 8, at Daffo.

Tyopev said, “The suspect has been transferred from Bokkos to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department in Jos and is being interrogated.”

The police spokesman also told the News Agency of Nigeria that 16 people had been confirmed killed in the multiple attacks on several villages that took place between Wednesday, March 7, and Friday, March 9.

He stated that the command had deployed more personnel in the troubled areas to restore peace.

The PUNCH had reported that the attacks took place at a time President Muhammad Buhari was on a one-day working visit to the state.

One of our correspondents had reported that apart from the killings, over 50 houses were destroyed.

However, leaders of the affected communities said 25 people were killed in the attacks.

The community leaders, who spoke to journalists on Sunday in Jos, said many persons were still missing.

Spokespersons for the communities, Rev. Mamot Adams and Mr. Macham Makut, said the remains of some of those killed were recovered and given two mass burials – one on Friday and another on Saturday.

The community leaders blamed the attacks on “our Fulani neighbours,” and listed villages attacked to include Nghakudung, Shilim, Morok, Mandung, Faram, Filla and Hotom.

According to them, also attacked were Dai, Kungul, Hurum, Dahua, Malul, Warrem, Josho and Ganda villages.

They said more than 5,000 people had been displaced, adding that some of them were in camps run by churches.

They called on security agencies to halt the attacks and restore permanent peace to the communities.

“We want the government to take urgent steps to end the attacks because our youths are agitated,” Adams said.

It was also gathered on Sunday that some other victims in the attacks on Miango village would be given mass burial on Tuesday.

The spokesperson for the Miango Youth Development Association, Lawrence Zongo, gave the name of the victims as Emmanuel Joseph and Christopher Joseph (twins, 16 years); their brother, Peace Joseph (6), Henry Audu (25), and Illa Peter (52).

Zongo said, “We just concluded a meeting with zonal executives of the MYDA to plan for the mass burial of our beloved ones killed by Fulani herdsmen. The burial has been fixed for Tuesday, March 13, 2018.”

Zongo faulted alleged plan by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to disarm vigilance groups and hunters.

“It surprised me that the IG wants to disarm vigilance groups and hunters. Let him start with Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen who are killing people in the country. Our people don’t have arms; if we have, we would have protected ourselves,” he said.