Pregnant woman, 12 others killed in a fresh attack in Plateau

THE SUN Newspaper-Mariam Aleshinloye

A pregnant woman with a baby on her back was among the 13 people killed in a fresh attack by persons suspected to be Fulani herdsmen in Byei and Batin villages in the Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State in the early hours of yesterday.

The pregnant woman who appeared to have woken her baby from sleep and taken him on her back to be able to get away was burnt in her hut. Some of the victims were similarly matcheted or shot dead, while others were burnt with their houses in the attack which occurred at about 1:30a.m, just after a downpour in the area. The dastardly act came 10 days after hundreds of people were killed in Dogo Nahawa and other villages in Jos South Local Government Area.

Wednesday’s killings occurred, just as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole paid a condolence visit to Dogo Nahawa and prominent leaders in Plateau State including Governor Jonah Jang, Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Gyang Buba, Catholic Arch- Bishop of Jos, Ignatius Kaigama and held closed door meetings with them on how the Dogo Nahawa incident would be the last in the state.
According to information gathered, the attackers had come with men wearing Army uniform, who provided cover for them and did the shooting.

The Fulani men were suspected to be those residing in the area and had left in the wake of the Jos crisis of January and are familiar with the terrain. One of the inhabitants, John Davou, who escaped unhurt but had his homestead burnt down, said upon hearing gunshots, he ran out with other members of his family and hid in another area. But by the time they came back, his house had been burnt. He said all the rooms with zinc doors were opened with knife and fire was lit and thrown into them.

The pregnant woman who was burnt to death also had her seven-year-old son killed, wiping out the family except for her husband who had traveled to Abuja a day before the incident.
A lady, Kachollom Pam who hung herself on the roof when the attackers arrived watched her two sisters –in- law gruesomely murdered by the men.

Mother of the two girls, Garos Dauda who escaped unhurt was almost out of her senses to the extent of attacking people moving close to the corpses of her children.

A woman aged about 90 was murdered in her sleep.
One of the corps members serving in the area, names withheld explained that they were in the nearby village, Jol when they began to hear gunshots and by daybreak when they came around, they saw that people had been killed. He described the operation as well-planned and well-executed, alleging that the soldiers who were expected to protect the people connived with the attackers.
He suggested that if soldiers could no longer protect the people they should leave and allow the people to protect themselves.

At the time Daily Sun was in the village, men of the Civil Defence Corps and Red Cross were around to remove the corpses and provide relief materials for the victims.
Meanwhile, Speaker Dimeji Bankole has said that unless the culprits were punished the attacks would not be curtailed.

He told community leaders in Dogo Nahawa to hold meetings regularly with all members of the community irrespective of tribe and religion to promote harmony.


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