At 12:00 noon Sunday, the death toll from the killings in Plateau State has reached to about 100 persons mostly Women and Children.
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Plateau state police command ASP Terna Tyopev said 11 people were killed in the Saturday afternoon attacks on persons returning from a burial in Barkinladi local government area of Plateau state.
The police spokesperson Terna Tyopev, who addressed Journalists in Jos, said the corpse of the deceased persons have been deposited at the Barkinladi general hospital.
He also said armed police personnel have been redeployed to the trouble areas to ensure law and order.
But a clergy in charge of Church of Christ In Nations (COCIN) Regional Church Council (RCC) Rop in Barakinladi local government area of Plateau state Rev Pam Chollom, argued the casualty figure of police, insisted that 120 of his members were killed in the attack.
Rev Chollom made the revelation in an interview with our reporter on Sunday, he said the incident occurred Saturday afternoon, and lasted still 8:00pm last night.
The Clergy explained that “the armed Fulanis ambushed sympathizers on their way back from the burial, attacked and killed 34 persons from Nekan village, 39 others from Kufang, and 47 people from Ruku village, as we speak, many others are still missing in the bushes.”
“Fulani people attacked our members who attended the burial of the father to one of our clergy Baba Jakawa, at Gidin Akwati, Gashis district, late Jakawa was aged over 80 years, a committed member of COCIN, so his burial attracted many sympathizers.”
The cleric added that “the sad incident started at about 1:00pm in the afternoon, and lasted still about 8:00pm yesterday (Saturday) we informed members of the special taskforce on Jos crisis, they went to one of the villages (scene), but the attackers had committed the havoc and left.” The clergy reported.
The clergy, Pam Chollom also noted with regret that over 30 houses were completely burnt by the attackers “at Nekan 15 houses were burnt in Kufang, 18 houses were also burnt.”
Spokesman of the special taskforce on Jos crisis, also known as “Operation Safe Heaven” Major Umar Adams, also confirmed the attacks in an interview, but could not ascertain casualty figure.
“I’m speaking with you from one the scene of the incident, our men were able to repel the attackers, made some arrest, though lives were lost, but at the moment, I, can not tell you exact number of the deaths.”
“Our men in Barkinladi responded promptly to the incident, because they heard sounds of the gun shots, and moved to the direction, on reaching there, there was another similar incident in another village, some of them were redeployed to the affected area, we have been able to arrest the situation, it is now calm.”
Plateau state government also confirmed the attacks and commiserated with victims of the attacks.
A statement by the commissioner for information and communication Hon Yakubu Dati, states government regrets over the incident in a press release issued Sunday in Jos.
“The Plateau State Government wishes to commiserate with citizens of the state especially, Xland, Gindin Akwati communities of Barkin Ladi Local Government, over unfortunate recent attacks.”
The statement by the Plateau state commissioner for information said government is sadden with the development.
“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.” Dati stated.
According to Hon Dati, governor Simon Lalong has cut short his journey to Abuja, where was attending APC convention and eturned to the state to address the renew attacks.
Dati said the governor has directed security operatives to arrest the situation immediately, and safe more lives.
It sue for peace, and call for calm among citizens “we however appeal to citizens not to take laws into their hands and cooperate with security agencies to prevent further break down of law and order as they track perpetrators of the evil act.”
Similarly, Plateau state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Soja Bewarang condemned the attack.
“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 killingd to a stop.”
“CAN use this media to call on the International community to come to the aid of Plateau people as the security seems to be incapable of contending with the challenges. The soil of Plateau is smelling with rotten dead bodies as a result of silent killings and besides many poeple are missing.”