By Seriki Adinoyi
Gunmen have again struck in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, killing no fewer than nine persons including a pregnant woman in Hurra village of Irigwe chiefdom.
The assailants also set several houses ablaze in the wake of the attack which occurred on Tuesday night.
The President of Irigwe Development Association, Mr. Sunday Abdu, who confirmed the attack in Jos on Wednesday, condemned the fresh onslaught against his people, lamenting that it was unfortunate that such wickedness could be allowed to take place in the community despite the total lockdown imposed on the people by the state government.
He said: “We woke up this morning to the cries and wailings of our people. When I enquired, they told me nine persons including a pregnant woman have again been killed by gunmen who raided Hurra village in Kwall district of Bassa Local Government Area. Several houses have also been burnt down before the attackers left the village.
“The situation is really hard to understand. Our people are on lockdown as directed by the state government and some other people who feel they can do anything and get away with it came and attacked them, killing nine of our people and setting their houses on fire. How do you explain this?”
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Dan Manjang, in a reaction, said that government was aware of the killings in the council area, describing it as really sad.
Manjang, who blamed the killings and attacks on crisis merchants whom he said were fuelling insecurity in the council area for personal benefits, said that government had sent security operatives to the affected community to contain the situation.
The commissioner said: “We are aware of the fresh killings in Bassa. No government will be happy to see its citizens being killed. It is unfortunate that while government is doing everything possible to ensure the sustenance of peace in the state, some people who are benefitting from the crisis are bent on scuttling government’s efforts but government will not allow them to succeed in their evil agenda.
“The truth is that some crisis merchants who are benefiting from the killing would not want the situation to stop. Unless the warring parties come and tell themselves the truth, the situation will continue. Unless those killing their fellow human beings realise that they don’t have the right to take another person’s life, the situation will continue.
“As a government, we send intelligence gathering to address the challenge but some people would go and circumvent the plans for reasons best known to them. As it is, we have sent security operatives to the community where the attack took place and we are appealing for them to sheathe their swords and give peace a chance in the council area.”