By Taye Obateru
Jos: The serial killings in Plateau State continued unabated as 11 people were again murdered in cold blood in separate attacks on villages in Jos North and Jos South local government areas on Sunday night.
Seven people were killed and three injured at Zallaki village near Babale in Jos North Local Government Area while four people, including a 74-year-old man, his wife and two grandchildren were murdered in the same circumstance at Dabwak near Kuru in Jos South Local Government Area. Ten others were injured in nearby Farin Lamba in the local government.
The attackers suspected to be Fulani men and allegedly backed by some people in uniform stormed the two villages between 8 and 10pm shooting sporadically and hacking down those who tried to escape. Two buildings were torched during the attack on Zallaki.
Sunday’s killings marked the fourth attack targeted at families in which a total of about 25 people have been killed.
The attack on Dabwak coming less than 24 hours after a similar one around Heipang where a family of eight were murdered, generated protests from youths in the area resulting in the burning of four trailers, two buses and two cars.
The youths in apparent protest against the alleged involvement of soldiers in the attack took to the highway stopping vehicles and manhandling some travelers, forcing some travelers to hurriedly turn back.
The youths demanded the withdrawal of members of the Special Task Force (STF) who they accused of compromising their duty of securing the people.
Tears and wailings welcomed the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Yiljap Abraham, the Chairman of Jos North Local Government Area, Mr. Timothy Buba and others to Zallaki village as they inspected the scene of the attack which was littered by spent bullet shells.
An eye witness told the team that the attackers came in two Opel cars and were allegedly later joined by a military Hilux vehicle, adding that the attack lasted about two hours.
Buba who lamented what he called the inhuman behavior of the attackers alleged that the account of the villagers had shown that the attack was with the connivance of the military and supported calls for their withdrawal.
Yiljap was near tears as he bemoaned the series of attacks saying, “Plateau is under siege from external aggressors.” He said government was working hard to unmask those behind the attacks and was optimistic that a breakthrough would be made soon in this regard.
He described calls for the declaration of a state of emergency in the state as “uncalled for” and urged those making the calls to join hands with others to address the security challenges which he said was not peculiar to Plateau State.