An orgy of violence reigns again in Riyom local government council of Plateau State as no fewer than 28 people were killed yesterday in two communities of the council thereby heightening fears that there seems to be no end in sight to the killings.
The two communities of Da Jak and Attakar of Ganawuri chiefdom in Riyom came under siege yesterday when unknown gunmen stormed the villages at early hours of yesterday.
According to a reliable source, over 28 persons were killed , and the two communities have been sacked as houses of the villagers were burnt to ashes. The source further said that the two villages were over-run in a midnight attack by people suspected to be hired Fulani militia.
Confirming the incident yesterday, member representing Riyom Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Hon Daniel Dem who spoke with journalists on phone said “dozens of persons were killed but I can’t tell the number of those killed.”
The lawmaker who described the attack as sad , said both villages had been under siege by suspected Fulani militia since last week.
Dem also accused the Special Task Force (STF) deployed to restore law and order in the area of being part of the problems. “My people are being killed every day and yet the Special Task Force is not doing anything about it.
“I am calling for the withdrawal of the STF since they are not capable of handling the crisis that has been rocking the state for a long time.”
The State Commissioner of Police Mr. Chris Olakpe who confirmed the incident. He further stated that no arrest was made of the suspected gun men, adding that his men are carrying out investigation on the matter.
Eight villages in Ganawuri were razed by the unknown gunmen. It was after that holocaust that a patrol team of the police went to the scene of the incident but were ambushed by the attackers who opened fire on them killing two of them while the others escaped the onslaught with injuries.
Navy Lieutenant Jude Akpa who is holding the forte for the Spokesman of the Special Task Force (STF) Captain Salisu Ibrahim Mustapha, who is on a leave of absence, confirmed the death of the two policemen yesterday.
According to Akpa, “The police team was on a patrol of the area when unknown gunmen who had hidden themselves in the surrounding bush opened fire on them by surprise leaving one of the policemen dead. But one other police corpse was later found adjacent to the scene making the number of the dead police two.”
He said there was no arrest made, adding that men of the STF have taken charge of the area to prevent further arson and break down of law and order.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Hon. Pam Ayuba, who first broke the news, said that the surrounding villages of Ganawuri chiefdom had been deserted by the residents for fear of attacks, adding that their houses have been razed by unknown hoodlums.
Ayuba added that churches were among the houses burnt in the process. According to him, “villages that are affected by the fire included Jadak1, Jadak2, Jadak3, Attaka, Kirim, Zadien, Marid, Luka all set ablaze including churches.”
He said government of Plateau State feels sad and bad over the incident, appealing to the perpetrators to sheathe their swords for peace to rain. “Let us pray for the peace of Plateau.”
Management Committee Chairman of Riyom council Mr. Sam Gyang Audu, refused to pick his calls but a source said he would have been to the venue of the theatre but had to shelve it till today because Governor Jonah Jang was swearing in the newly confirmed Head of Service, Mr. Ezekiel Dalyop and other permanent secretaries at the Government House, Rayfield.
On Monday, March 20, Audu addressed journalists in Jos where he hinted that he had already set out to come to Jos when he was told that there was chaos in Ganawuri. He had expressed worry that in all the chains of attacks in Riyom and environs, the STF has not arrested any suspect, the development he said raises suspicion.
On that March 20 when he was addressing the press, he went back home only to be informed that 20 people were killed when he was away to Jos.