Palpable anger yesterday trailed Tuesday’s attack in Plateau State that killed scores of people by suspected militia herders.
National president of Mwaghavul Development Association (MDA), Joseph Gwankat, had disclosed that 85 people were killed when gunmen invaded some communities in Mangu local government area of the state.
A member of the House of Representatives from Mangu/Bokkos federal constituency of the state, Solomon Bulus, raised the alarm of the killing of over 100 persons in his constituency.
Bulus in a statement noted that most of the victims who were murdered in cold blood by suspected terrorists were women and children.
Gwankat spoke on the killings at the palace of Miskhaham Mwaghavul, HRH Da John Putmang Hirse, during the visit of Governor Simon Lalong alongide heads of security agencies on a fact-finding mission to Mangu local government area.
According to him, 50 victims were given mass burial, while another 35 corpses were also recovered and buried in another separate grave in the evening.
Noting that more corpses are being recovered, he said, ” The process of recovering corpses is ongoing. As I am speaking to you we are still counting”.
Gwankat pointed out that more than 17 villages in Bwai, Panyam, and Mangu came under attack by suspected bandits.
He further said the attacks were carried out simultaneously by bandits killing innocent people and burning their houses.
He appealed to the state and federal government to, as a matter of urgency, deploy adequate security personnel to the affected communities with a view to protecting the people from further attacks by these enemies of progress.
The MDA president also called on the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately come to the aid of those who are displaced as a result of the dastardly act.
Our correspondent reports that the villagers whose houses were burnt were seen moving out in large numbers with their few belongings to seek refuge in Mangu town.
The chairman of Mangu local government area, Minister Daput, Serki Panyam Aminu Dabo, district head of Pushit, Diket Gupia, and that of Mangu, Peter Yatep Kataka, in their separate remarks said the coordinated attacks on peace loving communities is ethnic cleansing
They called for adequate deployment of security personnel to the affected communities, adding that the security personnel on ground were grossly inadequate and overstretched.
Similarly, the Miskhaham Mwaghavul, HRH Da John Putmang Hirse, appealed to the military to deploy its intelligent gathering mechanism to unravel the people carrying out the killings and where they are coming from.
According to him, the entire Mwaghavul land is under siege.
He called on governments at all levels to raise up to its primary responsibility of protecting the lives and prosperity of the citizens.
Meanwhile, Governor Simon Lalong who was represented by the deputy governor, Prof. Sonni Tyoden, at the occasion said the state government on its part will do everything humanly possible to ensure citizens lives are protected .
“The state government is aware of her responsibility. That is why we are here today to sympathize with the people. I am here on this visit with members of the state emergency management agency (SEMA) and the national emergency management agency (NEMA) with the view to take stock to assist the victims.
He called on the youths not to take the law into their hands, adding that the government will do everything possible to fish out the perpetrators of this heinous act so that they will be made to face the full wrath of the law of the land.
According to Bulus, the killings are one among many in the constituency, where over 200 persons have been killed in the last four months before the latest attack on the Plateau.
“I find it expedient at this time to intimate the world on the unfortunate happenings in my constituency, Mangu/Bokkos federal constituency of Plateau State, in the last two days, where over 100 persons, most of them women and children, have been massacred and butchered in cold blood by terrorist during an overnight unprovoked attack at their houses burnt down, including food stuffs, food barns and seedlings.
“These killings are one among many in the constituency, where over 200 persons have been killed in the last four months before this one. Government may claim to be doing its best but its best is not good enough, since it is not able to stop the killings in years. However, I commend the few gallant officers working without sufficient arms, yet gave themselves to save lives.
“The responsibility lies in the president to first condemn the dastard act, which we expect him to do and immediately go ahead to protect lives and properties which is the primary responsibility of the government,” he said.
Bulus, however, urged the president to order the security agencies to move into the area with immediate effect to curb the killings.
He urged the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) and other well spirited organisations to also move in with relief materials for the wounded survivors of the dastard attack.