Again, gunmen at the weekend killed at least 13 people in fresh attack on Latya village, Du District of Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State. The attack came barley one week after a pastor, his wife and children were burnt alive at Abonong village in Foron District of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area. It was learnt that the attackers invaded the communities between 8.30p.m. and 9p.m. on Sunday and started shooting indiscriminately. In the process, they killed 13 people.
Sources in the community said they recorded 13 deaths as a result of the attack while many people were injured. Meanwhile, the police yesterday confirmed the attacks and disclosed that 11 people were killed during the attacks while 12 others were wounded.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Mathias Tyopev, said in a statement that as a result of the attack, 11 people were confirmed dead by doctors from hospitals while 12 others were wounded and were now on admission receiving treatment. He said: “On the 02/09/2018 about 2030 hours, the Plateau State Police Command, Jos, received a distress call to the effect that unknown gunmen attacked Lopandet Dwei Du area of Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.
“The command immediately mobilised to the scene of crime. On arrival, we discovered that some people were shot. The victims were immediately rushed to the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) and Plateau Specialist Hospital.
“As a result of the attack, 11 persons have been confirmed dead by doctors from both hospitals mentioned above while 12 persons were wounded and are now on admission receiving treatment.” Tyopev said more security personnel had been deployed in the area to prevent further attacks on the community while investigation into the crime was ongoing. Our correspondent and other journalists, who visited the scene of the attack, escaped being lynched narrowly as youths in the community went on the rampage at the sight of cameras.
The youth were protesting frequent report of attacks which often elicit no reaction from government. They first attacked Channels TV cameraman and attempted to smash his camera. While the cameraman fled, the youth ran after him with stones, defying pleas by women and elderly people for restraint. Others who escaped the violent protests included AIT, TVC, New Telegraph and The Light Bearer reporters. A damaged police vehicle was parked by the road.
However, the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has decried the killings of the innocent persons. In a statement, the state Publicity Secretary of the party, Hon. John Akans, condemned the continued killing of innocent people.
He said: “These ugly and unwanted killings have been going on, even when we have security checkpoints everywhere within and outside the state capital. “This has become clear that the government has abandoned its responsibility of protecting its citizens. What is the primary responsibility of government if not to protect people’s lives and property? “While killings are going on in the state, tertiary institutions are embarking on strike as a result of failure of government policies, our dear governor is busy wasting our state resources on a foreign trip that will have no direct benefit to our people, even when he was not part of the President’s China trip.” Governor Simon Lalong also condemned the attack.
Lalong, in statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Hon. Yakubu Dati, instructed the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators. The governor advised youths in the state to resist any temptation to self-help as they would be playing to the script of the perpetrators whose ultimate aim was to return the state to the dark era of bloodletting.
He said: “The Plateau State government has ordered the security agencies to redouble their efforts in performing their constitutional responsibility of protecting lives and property. “Members of the public are further enjoined to be vigilant and report all suspicious movements to the nearest security agencies