Suspected herdsmen on Sunday night killed 14 persons in two attacks on Dong and Kwi communities in the outskirts of Jos, the Plateau State capital.
The assailants reportedly invaded the Dong community and shot at the people sporadically, killing at least seven, including women and children.
The attack on Kwi took a similar pattern, leaving at least another seven dead and several others injured.
Spokesman of state Police Command, Mr. Gabriel Ogaba confirmed the incident.
He said, “On Sunday 23/05/2021 at about 2000hrs, the command received a distress call that yet to be identified gunmen came out suddenly from a nearby bush, invaded Dong Village, Jos South LGA and killed seven persons.
“A combined team of Policemen, Special Task Force, Vigilante operatives led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Department of Operation, raced swiftly to the scene but the hoodlums had already fled back into the bush.
“Investigation is ongoing, and frantic effort is on, to arrest the fleeing suspects. Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in that area to prevent escalation of violence.”
Those killed in the Dong community are Chiyena Oboche, Divine Oboche, Victoria Matthew, Praise Matthew, Danladi Matthew, Mr. Gospel, and Mr. Istifanus.
Lamenting the attacks, the Senator representing Plateau North in the National Assembly, Istifanus Gyang said in a statement that it was disheartening that, “Shortly after the Inspector General of Police issued a security alert on likely terror attacks on Jos and the FCT, the blood merchants have visited terror on Dong community, adjacent Wild Life Park, Jos and Kwi village, adjacent Yakubu Gowon Airport Jos where a total of 14 persons were butchered to death, including children.”
Condemning the attacks, the Senator revealed that “available information indicates that some persons at a meeting with the Police the week preceding the attacks vowed to visit mayhem on helpless communities. It is therefore incumbent on the Plateau State Police Commissioner to arrest and prosecute those very persons forthwith.”
He also called for decisive action against persons that are known to security agencies for the serial killings, displacement, and forceful occupation of ancestral homelands of communities in Plateau North. He added that inaction on this matter will amount to condonation and complicity.
Also angered by the killings, the state Governor, Simon Lalong directed the security agents to fish out the perpetrators without delay.
In a prèss statement signed by the state Commissioner of Information, Mr. Dan Manjang, the Governor said he was deeply saddened “by the reoccurrence of violence in parts of Dong in Jos North Local Government Area and Kwi in Riyom on Sunday night where innocent citizens including children and women were murdered in cold blood.
Describing the act as barbaric, callous and a desperate attempt to rupture the peace and security of the state, the Governor said he was deeply distressed by the incident and has vowed to ensure that the cherished values of peace and security and the sanctity of lives remains sacrosanct in the state.
The statement added that “as soon as the government was alerted about the attacks, it quickly reached out to security agencies who responded immediately and have been in pursuit of the attackers with a view to apprehending them and bringing them to justice.”
It reiterated that the capacity of the security agencies for rapid response and intervention will be boosted once the approved 50 patrol vehicles and 200 security motorcycles are supplied.
The government also encouraged citizens to continue to provide useful information that will lead to the prevention of crime and arrest of criminals.
Seriki Adinoyi in Jos