Less than 48 hours after the new National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, visited Plateau State, over 20 people were killed when some gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen invaded Barakin-Ladi and some parts of the Riyom Local Government Areas of the state.
The gunmen were said to have launched intense attacks on Berom, Kakuruk, Kuzen, Ngyo, kogoduk, Ruk, Dogo, Kufang, Kpapkpiduk, Kai in Gashishi District of Barakin-Ladi around 6.30am on Saturday.
Some women from Kurra Falls in Barkin Ladi took to the streets protesting last Monday, the invasion of their villages by gunmen.
The gunmen numbering over 100 reportedly stormed the villages in a commando style shooting everybody in sight. Over 15 people were killed in Kuzen and more in neighbouring villages.
The dead people included 19 civilians and two mobile policemen.
It was learnt that the gunmen who wore army camouflage were armed with sophisticated weapons. Those killed were mostly women and children.
It was further gathered that the attackers proceeded to the nearby villages in Riyom Local Government Area where they destroyed more property and set houses ablaze.
The gunmen were later repelled after distress calls were sent to security agencies who were said to have responded about four hours later after they received the calls.
Executive Director of Stefanos Foundation, Mr. Mark Lipdo, said he was one of those who sent distress text messages to the agencies.
The text read, “Report just reached us now that despite the protest against destruction of farms by women in Gashish, Barakin Ladi, the fulani still continued their destruction last night and are presently still at it. We appeal to security operatives to please intervene and prevent any escalation of violence.”
A member of House of Representatives, representing Barakin-Ladi and Riyom Federal Constituency of the state, Mr. Simon Madwakon, who confirmed the incident said it was unfortunate that such a barbaric incident could happen when all hands were on deck to bring lasting peace to the area.
Mwadkom said he had complained to various authorities about the presence of terrorist groups within the two local councils without getting any attention, adding that it was surprising that such deadly attacks could take place with the state of emergency in place in the local area.
Media/Information Officer of the Special Task Force, Captain Salisu Mustapha, and the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Abu Emmanuel, confirmed the new onslaught but said that they were yet to have the details.