CHRISTMAS TRAGEDY: 76 KILLED IN PLATEAU VILLAGES

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CHRISTMAS EVE TRAGEDY: 76 KILLED PLATEAU VILLAGES

No fewer than 76 persons including, men, women, children and the aged were killed on Christmas Eve following a fresh deadly attack by Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen in some villages of Bokkos and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas f Plateau State.

The well coordinated attacks were carried out on Christmas Eve which also led to the devastating loss of property worth millions of naira as many houses were set Ablaze by the attackers while thousands have been displaced.

It would be Recall that 16 people were killed and many injured in the Lisham community of Mangu local government area last Saturday by gunmen suspected to be killer herdsmen.

While also confirming the attacks, the Transition Implementation Committee Chairman of Bokkos Council area Monday Kassam said during an assessment visit to the affected communities that over 60 people have been confirmed dead in Bokkos, alone while his counterparts in Barkin Ladi, Danjuma Dakim, said 22 dead bodies have been recovered and still counting.

She said, ” The attack was a surprise to us; the villages and the communities were attacked at the same time, precisely between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. The number of casualties was high, and so far we have picked over five corpses.

“As I am talking to you, we are still moving from one village to another, picking up the remains of those gruesomely killed by these terrorists. Those who escaped with injuries are presently receiving treatment at various hospitals and clinics both within and outside the local government.”.

As of the time of filing this report, security operatives are yet to make an official statement on the bloody attacks as tension continues to mount in the affected Council areas with dead toll rising to 79 while many others have been declared missing.

New Telegraph gathers that the rampaging gunmen, in an operation similar to ghorrelia warfare carried out simultaneously attacked twenty-seven villages and communities in Bokkos and Barkin-Ladi local government areas, respectively

It was gathered that the marauders attacked in Butura Kampani, Fatamba, Fashar, Garau, Angwan No., and Mbar communities in the Bokkos local government area, as are Ruku, Hurum, Darwat, Mai Yanga Sabo, and NTV villages in Gashish and Ropp districts of Barkin Ladi local government area.

A security source disclosed that the attacks were carried out simultaneously in these communities at about 10:00 p.m. when the inhabitants had gone to bed.

The Transition Committee Chairmen of Bokkos local government area, Hon. Monday Kasa, who confirmed the attacks to the Nigerian Tribune online, said no fewer than 20 villages were attacked simultaneously in the council during the midnight raid, which lasted for more than three hours.

Also, the Berom Youth Moulders, in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Rwang Tengwong, mentioned that no fewer than twenty persons were equally killed on Christmas Eve in eight communities in the Barakin-Ladi local government area of the state.

It pointed out that nine people were killed at NTV, five at Mai Yanga Sabo, three at Darwat, and one at Hurun, adding that the act of terrorism led to the complete displacement of thousands of people, which not only demonstrates a blatant disregard for human life but also seeks to undermine the peace and unity that are at the core of Nigerian values.

“On a day meant to celebrate love, compassion, and togetherness, the perpetrators of this dastardly act have brought untold agony, suffering, and grief to the affected communities and surrounding communities in Bokkos and Mangu Local Government Areas.

“The onslaught, followed by the invasion of Mangu and Bokkos on the 23rd day of December 2023, claiming 22 persons, explicitly depicts the mission of the marauders to consistently maim lives and mar the Yuletide; they have long planned that Plateau would be subjected to the “mother-of-all attacks” ever witnessed, which is currently being executed,” it said.

It therefore called on the government and relevant authorities not only to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the incident, identify those responsible, and bring them to justice but to swiftly come up with palliative packages as well as compensation for the victims, just as it was recently accorded to Kaduna victims of bombings.

The BYM further urged the government to take immediate and decisive action to prevent further attacks and ensure the safety and security of all citizens, regardless of their ethnic or religious background.All efforts to get official confirmation from security agencies in the State proved abortive.

About Dons Eze

DONS EZE, PhD, Political Philosopher and Journalist of over four decades standing, worked in several newspaper houses across the country, and rose to the positions of Editor and General Manager. A UNESCO Fellow in Journalism, Dr. Dons Eze, a prolific writer and author of many books, attended several courses on Journalism and Communication in both Nigeria and overseas, including a Postgraduate Course on Journalism at Warsaw, Poland; Strategic Communication and Practical Communication Approach at RIPA International, London, the United Kingdom, among others.

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