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Rampage in Plateau State: Gunmen Attack Claims Eight Lives, Raises Concerns Over Security

Plateau state has once again been marred by violence as gunmen launched a deadly assault, claiming the lives of at least eight individuals. The incident took place on Friday night within the Rawuru community, situated in the Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of the state.Solomon Dalyop, a prominent youth leader in the community, confirmed the tragic killings to The PUNCH during an interview in Jos on Saturday. Dalyop expressed his dismay over the baffling circumstances surrounding the attack, revealing that earlier in the day, and even at night, soldiers had been present in the village. Despite their presence, the assailants managed to carry out their deadly operation without being apprehended, raising concerns among the villagers about the effectiveness of security forces.Jerry Datim, another community leader and president of the Global Society for Middle Belt Heritage, denounced the recurring attacks, emphasizing the need for a thorough investigation into the actions of the Military Taskforce responsible for maintaining peace in Plateau communities. Datim highlighted the alarming death toll of 276 individuals over the past month, as well as the displacement of over 30,000 people, resulting from these persistent attacks.”We have witnessed mass grave sites where the deceased have been laid to rest, and we invite those who are willing to see the extent of the tragedy for themselves,” Datim stated. “Thirty thousand internally displaced persons (IDPs) are scattered across various locations, such as Mangu, Panyam, Mangu Halle, Yilpo (Sabon Gari) Fan in Barkin Ladi, Maikatako in Bokkos, Marish in Bokkos, Bukuru in Jos-South, and numerous others in Jos North LGAs of Plateau State.”Datim further lamented the adverse impact on education, as children in the affected local governments had missed crucial examinations, including the Junior NECO Exams for JSS 3 students, ongoing Senior Secondary School Examinations, and tertiary level assessments due to the forced migration of their families.While expressing gratitude for the support received from fellow Plateau ethnic groups, Datim expressed disappointment with the seemingly silent response from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). The group urged SEMA to fulfill its constitutional duties by promptly addressing the needs of the 30,000 displaced individuals scattered across the state.Accusing the Military Special Taskforce responsible for security in the state of inadequately safeguarding the lives of its citizens, the group called upon the federal government to dismantle all military checkpoints and replace them with mobile police units to enhance operational effectiveness.”We demand the immediate return of our displaced people to their ancestral lands, with the federal government ensuring their welfare and security,” emphasized Datim. “Additionally, pending the vacation of the Fulani herders from our ancestral lands, any future attacks on our communities will hold Fulani leaders accountable for harboring the assailants.”Efforts to reach Alabo Alfred, the spokesperson for the Police Command in the state, for comment on the latest attacks proved unsuccessful as he did not answer incoming calls.


Ademola Adeyemi

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