Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Gunmen invade Plateau communities again, massacre 21 people, destroy 100 farmlands

“In Kwi, an entire community, Hei-gwe, was razed and over 100 farmlands destroyed.”

• June 13, 2023
Photo used to illustrate story (Credit: The Guardian Nigeria)

Suspected gunmen have killed a reverend father, Nichodemus Kim, of the Church of Christ in Nation (COCIN) and 20 others in Riyom and Barkin Ladi LGAs of Plateau.

The pastor was killed in the Gana-Ropp community of Barkin Ladi, while others were killed in Rim, Jol, and Kwi communities of Riyom.

Rwang Tengwong, the Berom Youth Movement (BYM) spokesman, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Jos.

According to Mr Tengwong, the communities were attacked simultaneously, adding that the attacks were highly coordinated.

He explained that the attacks which occurred on Sunday night, left many persons with various degrees of injuries, adding that scores were currently displaced.

“Twenty-one persons were killed and several others injured on Sunday during coordinated attacks by militias on residents of Rim, Jol, Kwi communities of Riyom as well as Gana-Ropp community in Barkin Ladi,” said Mr Tengwong. “Two persons were killed at Rim, Seven at Jol, 11 at Kwi, all in Riyom, while a clergyman, Rev. Nichodemus Kim, was killed in Gana-Ropp Barkin Ladi.”

The group’s spokesman added, “The attacks on Rim, Jol and Kwi were simultaneously coordinated and held between 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Sunday. In Kwi, an entire community, Hei-gwe, was razed and over 100 farmlands destroyed.”

Mr Tengwong called on the government and the security agencies to fashion out lasting solutions to the spate of attacks and killings in communities.

“The BYM under the leadership of Solomon Mwantiri, hereby condemns the coordinated attacks and other forms of provocation meted out on innocent persons of Plateau since after the 2023 general elections,” he explained.

Mr Tengwong also called on President Bola Tinubu’s government and the Plateau governor “to come up with new strategies to address the security situation in the country and particularly in Plateau,” stressing that security personnel must also “wake up to their statutory responsibilities to safeguard” lives and property.

“BYM equally calls on the Berom nation to remain calm and law abiding, but must explore every avenue to defend their communities as we cannot sit and watch while they kill us one after another,” he said.

Police spokesman in Plateau, DSP Alabo Alfred, could not be reached for comments.

However, Governor Caleb Mutfwang confirmed the killings in a statement by his spokesman Gyang Bere.

The governor further confirmed the kidnapping of a traditional ruler in Mushere, Bokkos LGA.

He promised Plateau residents of his commitment towards tackling the spate of attacks, killings, kidnapping and other security challenges currently facing the state.

“Let me assure the people that we are retooling the security apparatus of the state and by the special grace of God we will have a secured Plateau,” said Mr Mutfwang.

The governor called on the residents of the state to keep away their differences and unite towards moving the state forward.


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