Muslim herdsmen have killed a federal senator and a state lawmaker in troubled Plateau state on Sunday after attended a mass burial for the victims of an earlier attack.
The Senator representing Plateau North Dr Gyang Dantong and Majority Leader of Plateau House of Assembly Hon. Gyang Fulani were killed on Sunday while attending the mass burial of villagers killed on Saturday by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
The Pam Ayuba, spokesman for the Plateau state’s governor confirming the incident said the senator representing Plateau north, Gyang Dantong, and the majority leader of the state assembly, Gyang Fulani and others were gunned down today Sunday by Fulani herdsmen,”
He added that the two were killed shortly after attending the mass burial for the victims of a Saturday raid, also blamed on the Fulani, a tribe made up of Muslim herdsmen.
After the burial, the officials went to a reception at the home of another local leader in the state’s Gashis district, roughly 90 kilometres (56 miles) from the capital Jos, Ayuba said.
“The Fulani herdsmen raided the house…they shot (the politicians) and some others but the key people who lost their lives are the senator and the majority leader,” he explained, saying he did not know the total number of casualties.
Another federal lawmaker “escaped death by a whisker,” he added.
Asked about the motivation for the attacks, Ayuba said the Fulani were likely inspired by their resentment for the state’s Christian political leadership.
The two victims of the Sunday attack were members of the mostly Christian Birom ethnic group, as were the 23 people killed in the Saturday raid.