Gunmen Kill 10, Injure 19 during Celebration in Plateau

Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

It was another tragic Saturday evening in Plateau State as unknown gunmen from nearby hills swooped on Chando Zerreci Community in Bassa Local Government Area killing 10 on the spot and leaving 19 others severely injured during an annual festival.


An eye witness said the celebrants abandoned their festivity and scampered to safety in the confusion that ensued.
The Irigwe ethnic group was having its annual festival called Zerreci to usher in the rainy/farming season when the gunmen stormed the festival ground and attacked the people, leaving 10 corpses in aftermath.


National Publicity Secretary, Irigwe Youths Movement (IYM), Lawrence Zongo, who confirmed the attack, said the incident occurred on Saturday evening at about 10pm.


He said: “Another tragedy has happened in our land,  this time, during our annual ritual festival ‘Zerreci’.  The annual festival ushers us into the rainy and farming season.


“The Fulani militants suddenly came upon us on Saturday evening at the ritual ground and shot sporadically at the celebrants.


“10 persons were killed on the spot, 19 others survived with bullet wounds, some of them are now at Enos Hospital Miango, while others in critical conditions have been moved to Jos.”


He alleged that the Fulani were responsible for the attacks and called on the government to rise up to its responsibility of protecting the citizens.


He said: “Brutal attacks on Rigwe communities are becoming rampant and frequent. This is unacceptable. Government must take more concrete steps to protect lives and property across Rigwe chiefdom and neighboring communities.


“Nigeria authorities both at Federal and state levels failed to protect the lives and properties of the Rigwe people allowing them to be at the mercy of gunmen.


“The government must, as a matter of urgency, investigate the attacks in Rigwe land and bring the perpetrators to justice and ensure families and other victims are adequately compensated.”


Also confirming the attack, Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Gabriel Ogaba, appealed to the people to be calm, adding that the Police were on top of the situation.  He said some policemen have been drafted to the area to manage the
situation.

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