- Seriki Adinoyi in Jos and Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto
Gunmen killed no fewer than 29 persons thursday in Hukke village in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State and Gangara village in Sabin Birni LGA of Sokoto State.
While suspected herdsmen killed seven in Plateau State, bandits killed 22 in Sokoto State.
THISDAY gathered that hundreds of bandits on motorcycles invaded the Gangara community shooting sporadically.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Sokoto State Police Command, Mr. Muhammad Sadiq, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said yesterday that upon receipt of the information, the Operation Puff Adder, and military patrol teams were drafted to the scene.
According to him, efforts made by the bandits to ambush the squad were unsuccessful as the team beat the ambush the gunmen laid for them.
Sadiq added that after a fierce gun duel, the bandits retreated and escaped into the forest with gunshot injuries while one was shot dead.
He explained that the police later discovered bodies of 22 people killed by the bandits.
He said the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Ka’oje, had raised a team, led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Criminal Investigation Department (DC, CSCID), to probe the matter.
Ka’oje commiserated with the families of the deceased, as well as the people and government of Sokoto, and vowed to bring the perpetrators of the crime would be brought to book.
Also less than 24 hours after gunmen killed three persons in Ancha community in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, seven other persons have been killed in the neighbouring Hukke village in the same LGA.
Spokesman for Miango Youth Development Association, Mr. Lawrence Zongo, confirmed the fresh killings yesterday.
Zongo said the assailants, numbering over 200, also set ablaze over 20 houses belonging to the villagers when they attacked the village in the early hours of yesterday.
He said: “The fresh attack occurred in the early hours of Thursday. The attackers were more than 200 persons that came this time. During the attack, they killed seven people and all of them were burnt beyond recognition as they also set their houses ablaze. In fact, we counted more than 23 houses that were set ablaze by the attackers before they fled the community.”
The youth leader gave the names of those killed as Izinpa Muntu, Madah Imeh, Jummai Geye, Gado Muntu, Mary Alhassa, Gado Ngulu, and Rigwe Muntu.
He urged the state police command to establish a station in the district to forestall further attacks on the people.
Spokesman for the Plateau State Police Command, Mr. Ubah Ogaba, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), when contacted, said the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Isaac Akinmoyede, had visited the scene of the attack to sympathise with the community and encourage them not to take the law into their hands.
Akinmoyede also reportedly assured the people that the police will do everything possible to ensure that the assailants are brought to book.
Meanwhile, Senator representing Plateau North in the National Assembly, Istifanus Gyang, has condemned the renewed killings in his constituency.
In a statement issued yesterday by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Musa Ashoms, the senator said: “At a time when the entire human race is sober and seeking God in prayers against COVID-19, killer bandits are showing no sense of fear of God or value for human life.
“It is necessary for the police and Operation Safe Haven to rise up to their primary responsibility of securing the lives of citizens both in the cities and rural areas as the lives of rural dwellers matter as much as those in urban areas.”