Despite Curfew, Gunmen Kill Six in Fresh Plateau Attacks

•MACBAN denies involvement

•Lalong relaxes curfew

Seriki Adinoyi

Gunmen suspected to herders have again attacked Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, killing five persons, despite the curfew.

But the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has denied any complicity in the latest attacks, warning that Fulani should not always be linked to all attacks in the state.

Also, the Plateau State government, which had imposed a 24-hour curfew on Jos North, Jos South and Bassa LGAs, has relaxed it. The curfew would now be observed from 6pm to 6am daily, beginning from today, Thursday, August 19, 2021.

This notwithstanding, the assailants attacked Tafi-Gana village on Tuesday night, where they descended on their victims in their sleep.

In another attack in Dong village, some gunmen also killed a resident, a development confirmed by leader of the community, Danjuma Auta, to THISDAY

National President of the Irigwe Development Association, Mr. Ezekiel Bini, confirmed the killings on Wednesday, adding that the whereabouts of four other persons have remained unknown after the attack.

He said: “Yes, it is true that five persons have been killed in fresh attack on us. We are now on our way to meet the governor over the continued killings in our communities of Bassa, despite the curfew by the state government.

“They were killed right in their homes. Their corpses have just been deposited at the mortuary. Aside the five persons, four others have been missing.”

The Military Information Officer of the Special Task Force (STF), Major Ishaku Takwa,could not be reached to respond to the recent killings.

But in a statement by state chairman of MACBAN, Mallam Mohammad Nuru Abdullah, the association said Irigwe should be blamed for dehumanising the Fulani by abusing their human rights.

He said, “Condemn what we describe as outright violation and abuses of human rights, through discrimination, dehumanisation, genocide, ethnic cleansing and brutality by Irigwe warlords under the instructions of their great warriors and leaders.

“We condemn the incessant attacks and killings of indigenous Fulani herdsmen in our ancestral home by the armed Irigwe bandits. We are stressed and stretched beyond elasticity by the oppression of our people entrapped in Miango chiefdom. Therefore, we seek urgent intervention and actions from all walks of life.

“The narrative had always been accusation against the Fulani over committing every attack under the sun. A press statement signed by one Danjuma Auta alleging that Fulani had attacked and killed five Irigwe persons at Tafi Gana village. This misinformation will never help us. The statement is meant to cause distraction from the real happenings.

“The Iregwe should know that Fulani will no longer remain passive under such deliberate and sustained attacks on its integrity and dignity; we, therefore, call on government to stop this provocation and unwarranted insults,” he said.

However, announcing the relaxation of the curfew, a statement by Governor Simon Lalong’sDirector of Press, Simon Macham stated that the decision was reached after the State Security Council meeting held at the Government House, Rayfield, yesterday, where the governor received briefings from the heads of security agencies and also reviewed the situation.

In relaxing the curfew, Lalong warned troublemakers to desist from threatening lives and properties of citizens or be ready for a showdown with security forces that have been directed to be tough with anyone causing a breach of the peace.

The governor expressed outrage over the desperation of criminals bent on causing mayhem in the state, as there were isolated attacks, which led to loss of lives and destruction of properties in some areas of Jos North and Bassa LGAs during the curfew.

While the curfew was relaxed in Jos North, security agencies would mount permanent checkpoints in volatile areas; deploy more uniform and plain clothes personnel; and also observe the conduct of citizens round the clock.

The governor reiterated that the prohibition on processions was still in force and anyone found violating the order would be dealt with according to the law.

He urged parents and community leaders to prevail on their wards to maintain peace as the government did not want to be forced to always resort to curfews, which affect the economy and freedom of the people as well as the state as a whole.

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