Bandits kill 107 in Benue, Plateau attacks

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Bandits kill 107 in Benue, Plateau attacks

About one hundred persons have been reportedly killed within three days in a sustained attack by gunmen suspected to be herders in four wards of Katsina Ala local government area of Benue state.

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The attack, which started Saturday, our Source gathered, had continued through Sunday till Monday.

The council Chairman, Alfred Atera, said many people in the area were moving out of their communities over the attack which had already claimed the lives of about one hundred persons.
He said four council wards were under attack by the Fulani marauders, including Yoyo, Utange, Mbatyula/Mberev and Mbayongo.

“Four council wards are being attacked by the herdsmen in Katsina Ala local government area and they include, Yooyo, Utange, Mbatyula / Mberev and Mbayongo council wards.

“About a hundred people have been killed by the herdsmen if not more at different places. As the attackers are going, they are killing and dropping their victims. We have not been able to recover many people.

“I informed the military about the attack, but these people have developed a strategy, they are not attacking one place. If they attacked Kwaghaondo village for instance, they quickly moved to another place. So, before the military could go there, they will move to another place and continue with their offensive.

“I have reported the incident to all the security agencies and they are aware. As I am speaking to you, I am in my office in the headquarters of the LG speaking to my traditional rulers to see what we can do in their own level.

“On the allegations whether the military is compromising, he said the military were not conniving but it seems the aggrieved Gana Boys have joined forces with the herdsmen to carry out the attack.
“No military connivance but I am suspecting the bandits, the existing bandits there. The Gana remnants are conniving with them to cause the havoc and unrest in our area.

“I think they are trying to win a cheap popularity. They have connived to do that so that we consider their demands which we have refused to do,” he added.

When contacted at the time of this report, the Police Public Relations Officer of the state command, DSP Catherine Sewuese Anene said she was yet to receive the report of the attack.

Police confirm 7 killed in Plateau

Also, the Plateau state police Command Monday confirmed that seven persons were killed Sunday night by unknown gunmen in Dong locality of Jos South local government area of the state.

The police spokesman, ASP Ubah Ogaba, in a statement early hours of Monday confirmed the incident to journalists via Whatsapp platform.

“On Sunday 23/05/2021 at about 2000hrs, the command received a distress call that yet to be identified gunmen came out suddenly from a nearby bush, invaded Dong Village, Jos South LGA and killed seven persons,” he said.

Ogaba further stated that the “combined team of policemen, STF, vigilante operatives, led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Department of Operation, raced swiftly to the scene, but the hoodlums had already fled back into the bush.

“Investigation is ongoing. Frantic effort is on to arrest the fleeing suspects. Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in that area to prevent escalation of violence.”

However, the lawmaker representing Plateau North senatorial district in the National Assembly, said contrary to the figure by the police, 14 persons were killed.

A statement by the lawmaker’s media aide, Musa Ashoms, said the attacks took place at two separate places.

“Shortly after the IGP issued a Security Alert on likely terror attacks in Jos and the FCT, the blood merchants have visited terror on Dong community adjacent Wild Life Park, Jos and Kwi village, adjacent Yakubu Gowon Airport Heipang on Sunday night, 23/05/21 where 14 persons were butchered to death, including children,” he stated.

Lalong reacts

Reacting to the development, Governor Simon Lalong frowned at the killings and directed security agencies to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Lalong said: “We are deeply saddened by the reoccurrence of violence in parts of Dong Kasa in Jos North Local Government Area and Kwi in Riyom on Sunday night where innocent citizens including children and women were murdered in cold blood.”

Commissioner of Information and Communication Dan Manjang in a statement described the act as barbaric, callous and a desperate attempt to rupture the peace and security of the state.

Six kidnapped in Niger

In a related development, the Niger State Police Command has confirmed kidnap of six residents of Gauraka area Tafa local government area of Niger state resulting in protest during which a police station was burnt

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Wasing Abiodun, in a statement in Minna Monday said the command was on top of the situation.

He said: “Today being 24th May, 2021 at about 0300hrs, unknown gunmen attacked the residents of Angwan-Wazobia in Gauraka area of Tafa LGA where about six persons were abducted. Teams of Policemen were mobilised to the scene and efforts to rescue the victims are being intensified.”

Abiodun further said “however, at about 0635hrs of same date, some miscreants blocked both sides of Abuja – Kaduna expressway, protesting the recent cases of kidnapping in the community.

“The miscreants later extended the protest to Gauraka Police outpost, vandalised and set it ablaze.”

The command said efforts to disperse the protesters were ongoing as reinforcement had been dispatched from Minna to Area Commander Suleja as well as joint task force from Minna – Suleja highway to restore normalcy on Abuja – Kaduna express way.

The statement restated the command’s calls on members of the public, parents/guardian and community leaders to caution their wards against any act of public disturbance as the Command shall continue the onslaught against criminal elements in the society.

5 abducted victims rescued

Similarly, troops of Operation Safe Haven have rescued two people kidnapped while travelling along Gidan Waya-Godogodo-Jagindi road, and three herders together with their 86 cows both in Jema’a local government area of Kaduna state.

A statement issued Monday by the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, said the troops were on the trail of the kidnappers to rescue the remaining two travellers.

He added that a notorious armed robber was arrested in Gidan Waya.

“Troops of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) reported the rescue of two victims who were abducted by armed bandits along Gidan Waya-Godogodo-Jagindi road in Jema’a local government area.

“The commissioner was briefed at the Headquarters of Sector 7, Operation Safe Haven, Kafanchan, by the Sector Commander, Colonel D.C Nwakonobi while on a routine visit to military formations across the Southern Kaduna general area on Monday.

“According to the briefing, four passengers were abducted from a vehicle plying the route. On receiving a distress call, a patrol team from OPSH pursued the bandits and rescued the two victims. Efforts to apprehend the bandits and rescue the other victims are ongoing.

“The Commander also said that the troops rescued three herders after they had been attacked at a location in the same LGA. The herders, Suleiman Mohammad, Hassan Adamu and Ya’u Mokariyo, along with their 86 cows were escorted to safety by the troops, as they proceeded on their way to Jagindi.

“He further informed the Commissioner, that a notorious armed robber, Umar Yusuf, was arrested by troops following an attack on private apartments which housed students of the College of Education, Gidan Waya.

“The Commander said these developments occurred between Sunday night and early hours of Monday. These were beside briefings on the general security situation in the five LGAs which make up the OPSH area of responsibility, namely, Sanga, Kauru, Kaura, Zangon Kataf and Jema’a local government areas.

“The Commissioner, on behalf of Governor Nasir el-Rufai, condoled with the officers and men of Sector 7 over the death of Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-General Ibrahim Attahiru, and thanked the troops for their alertness and responsive stance in rescuing the abducted victims and the herders. He also commended them for sustaining all efforts to ensure security and peace in the Southern Kaduna general area,” the statement added.

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