Governor Jonah Jang
By Seriki Adinoyi
Over 200 residents, including women and children, have fled Wase town in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State, following the bloody communal clash between the Huasa/Fulani and the Tarok.
THISDAY also gathered that the death toll in the Monday attacks on Zango and Wase had risen to over 40, even as the lawmaker representing the zone has urged the community leaders to wade into the crisis.
At least 25 persons were said to have been killed on Sunday in the clashes between the communities.
A source said there had been killings in the area after the Monday crisis leading to more deaths. He put the current toll at 40, adding that the figure could be higher as more corpses were discovered yesterday morning.
He said residents had begun to relocate from Wase to Langtang North, Dengi and Kanam Local Government Areas.
A youth leader in Wase town, Shafi’I Sambo, who confirmed the relocation, said: “Over 200 women and children have fled the community so far. The women started leaving on Friday after the first attack because some men feared for the safety of their wives and children so they made arrangements for them to leave the town.”
He however said community leaders in the area were making frantic efforts to douse the tension.
Meanwhile, the senator representing Plateau South Senatorial district, Victor Lar, has appealed to members of the warring communities to sheathe their swords and embrace dialogue, adding that crisis will only hamper development of the district.
Speaking with journalists in Jos Tuesday, Lar urged traditional and community leaders in the area to take drastic steps to end the crisis.
Lamenting the extent of damage so far, he appealed to individuals and groups to assist to cushion the hardship of displaced victims.
“When there is a crisis, the most badly affected victims are women and children. Houses have been burnt with foodstuff also destroyed. They need relief materials, and I want to assure them that government is doing everything possible to ensure that lasting peace is restored.
“The security agencies should be up and doing and the traditional rulers should also help government. I am told that mercenaries, who are imported from outside Nigeria, are involved in this crisis. People should report any suspicious movement of large strangers into the communities so that government can take proactive measures,” he said.