Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong Imposes Curfew As Angry Youths Kill 25 Travellers
No fewer than 25 persons were killed on Saturday by angry youths in Jos Noth Local Government area of Plateau state.
It was gathered that the travellers on 5 buses were returning from the annual Zikr prayer in Bauchi state, heading to Ondo state when they came accros protesting youths who suspected them to be Fulani herdsmen along Rukuba road.
The youths who were in the burial ceremony of farmers killed by herdsmen stopped the buses and killed over 25 of them with some others escaping with injuries.
The 5 buses were said to be a convoy of over 90 Muslims.
Northwest and central Nigeria have for years struggled with violence between mainly Muslim nomadic herders and Christian farmers over control of resources, water and land.
According to Police spokesperson, Ubah Ogaba, they received a distress call during the morning that “a group of attackers (suspected to be Irigwe youths) attacked a convoy of five buses with travellers”.
Police iniatial report indicated that 22 persons were killed but eye witnesses account indicated that 25 dead bodies were found.
“Twenty-two persons were killed and 14 injured,” police spokesman Ubah Ogaba said in a statement, adding that 21 people had been rescued.
A News in its report quoted Muhammad Ibrahim, who escaped, saying, the assault happened along Rukuba road, on the outskirts of Jos, capital of Plateau state, the Muslims were returning from Bauchi State, he said, after attending an event to celebrate the Islamic New Year.
The online news paper, A News also qouted a government official Danladi Atu saying: “It is very unfortunate, that we have this ugly incident, at which innocent travellers, are intercepted, attacked as a result of which 25 people are now confirmed killed”
“A local group representing herders, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, said it also counted 25 bodies.
“We have prepared up to 25 dead bodies that are ready for burial,” said local representative Malam Nura Abdullahi.
“Iregwe militias attacked and used machetes, knives and stones to kill them,” A News report added.
Plateau state Governor, Simon Lalong said thus:
Sequel to the unfortunate breach of peace along Rukuba road, Jos North Local Government Area on 14th August 2021, where a convoy of commuters was attacked leading to killing of innocent persons, I have received briefings on the situation from the relevant heads of security agencies.
The reports indicate that 23 of those attacked lost their lives while 23 persons sustained injuries and are currently receiving treatment.
26 others were rescued unhurt.
So far, 20 suspects have been arrested and the security agencies are conducting investigations to get to the bottom of the matter.
Having reviewed the reports and monitored the unfolding scenario, Government is concerned about the persisting tensions and reported attempts by some persons to take the laws into their hands by threatening to attack individuals and private facilities, as well as public property.
In order to avoid further deterioration of the situation and to protect lives and properties of citizens, I have directed the imposition of curfew on Jos North, Bassa and Jos South Local Governments; commencing 6pm to 6a.m from today, 14th August 2021.
The curfew shall remain in place subject to further review by the State Security Council.
All citizens are therefore directed to abide by the directive to enable security personnel maintain law and order in the affected areas and deal with those attempting to foment trouble by taking advantage of the situation to perpetrate crime.
The Government will continue to monitor the unfolding situation and take further necessary measures to ensure the safety of lives and properties.
While I deeply sympathize with the families of those who lost their loved ones, and those injured in the unfortunate event, I call for calm and appeal to our citizens to avoid any action or utterances that will further inflame the situation.
This is purely a criminal conduct and should not be given any ethnic or religious colouration.
Let us continue to be vigilant and be security conscious and do everything possible to sustain peace and security of the State.
God bless Plateau State.
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