Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The renewed orgy of violence continued in Plateau State yesterday as at least 13 persons believed to be Berom were confirmed killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen in a night attacks in Jol village of Riyom Local Government Area of the state.
Management Committee Chairman of Riyom Local Government, Mr. Emmanuel Danboyi Jugul, confirmed to newsmen in Jos that the attack occurred on Tuesday night by suspected Fulani herders, adding that 10 of the victims were given mass burial yesterday afternoon.
Jugul said, “Ten persons including women and children have been given mass burial, while three other bodies have just been discovered.”
The Plateau State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Mathias Terna, said he was yet to get details of the attack from the DPO of the local government and promised to get back to our correspondent.
Meanwhile, an unconfirmed number of people were yesterday arrested by military forces and taken to the Maxwell Kobe Cantonment, Rukuba Barracks, Jos in connection with the disappearance of Major General Idris Alkali.
Community sources said dozens of military personnel stormed the area in the early hours of Wednesday and arrested residents from their sleep. The soldiers allegedly forced their subjects to surrender and board a military truck wherein they were stripped naked and taken to detention, it was learnt.
Confirming the arrests, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 3 Armoured Division, Col. Kayode Ogunsanya, said “the army is on a mission to finding the missing Major General Idris Alkali (rtd) whose vehicle was discovered in a pond near the community after days of search by the army authorities.
“The general area of Dura – Du district in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State has been cordoned off. The aim is to search for the missing Major General dead or alive,” he said.
The arrest has created palpable fear in and around the community, as they fear that the soldiers may massacre or inflict more harm on the residents as once witnessed in Zaki Biam, Benue State and Odi, Bayelsa State.
The army authorities had said last week that it was not considering any such actions.
Meanwhile, Stefanus Foundation raised the alarm that the Dura community has been locked down by the Army.
In a statement by its Media Officer, Rachel Noah, the Foundation said, “Information from Dura community of Du, in Jos South LGA says Soldiers today found another car with plate number: Bauchi-AG 645 TRR, making it the third car found in the pond the missing general’s car was found. As a result, report says the soldiers blocked people around Buken Academy in Doi, telling people to switch off their phones.
“In Latya, residents of the community said their area has been cordoned off and since morning, they have been under lock and key as the military are making street arrests and following house to house in search of males, while they were taken out and being flogged.
“Another report says Berom men and teenage boys in Lapwongit, in Dura are also being stripped naked and flogged by the military in the name of trying to find those that killed the late General.
“Other sources said soldiers have been ordered to level the community due to the dead of the retired general. They want to take them by surprise.
“This has become a great concern as the military seem to put so much energy in apprehending a whole community for crime they might be innocent of, while killings in many communities are still going on with no single arrest.
“Just yesterday, Tanjol in Jol, Riyom LGA came under heavy attack, leading to the death of over 14 persons and many injured. One would wonder why the security would not respond to such situation, rather, focus on punishing a whole community on a crime they may know nothing about.”