A synopsis of the monthly killings in the year 2010, yet, the heinous crimes had always been attributed to unknown herdsmen none of whom has been successfully prosecuted
January 17- 19
The first ‘baptism of fire’ was witnessed on Sunday January 17 which sparked off about four days of violence in different parts of the state. The crisis resulted in reprisals which ran through the year and claimed several lives. It was allegedly sparked off by a disagreement among two groups of youth in Nasarawa Gwom areas over an attempt by a man to rebuild his house burnt during the November, 2008 crisis.
The youths were said to have gone violent and allegedly started attacking people who were coming from the church. It later took ethno-religious dimension resulting in several killings, burning and destruction of property, spreading to other parts of the state including Kuru-Jenta and Bukuru.
There was another uprising in Farin Gada area of Jos North Local Government area after some people protesting the alleged refusal to allow them bury a lost relation at a burial ground in the area went violent killing an Igbo trader. The tension created another pandemonium in the entire city and almost turned into an ethnic war but for prompt moves which doused the tension.
March 7 – 9
Hundreds of people mostly women and children were massacred at Dogon NaHauwa, Retsat and Jeji villages when suspected Fulani herdsmen launched what was termed reprisal attacks over the alleged killing of their kith and kin in the January mayhem. They were said to have stormed the village commando style torching the houses and hacking down the villagers as they ran out.
Thirteen people were killed at Byei village in Riyom Local Government Area by suspected Fulani herdsmen. Among those slain were six women including a pregnant woman who was burnt with a child strapped on her back.
It was another tense day for Jos residents as a student of the Jos Campus of Plateau State Polytechnic was killed and six others were injured following a clash between security men and students. The students went on rampage smashing cars as they barricaded the highway in front of their school. The students claimed to have arrested a man whom they suspect had explosives in a bag and resisted an attempt by soldiers of the Special Task Force to take him away saying they did not trust them. It came at a time allegation of bias against the soldiers was rife in parts of the city.
A fracas after a football match in Bukuru area resulted in pandemonium. A group said to have been unhappy about the outcome of the match reportedly went violent attacking innocent passersby, injuring some of them. The mere talk about another violence created pandemonium in the city.
Three people were killed in Jos after an inter-denominational service organized by the Jos North Local Government Area Chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) was hijacked by hoodlums. Some of those who attended the service held at Rwang Pam Stadium were said to be returning to their churches in a procession when they were attacked by hoodlums around Nasarawa Gwom. The violence spread to Dogon Dutse and Dutse Uku areas resulting in deaths.
Two houses were attacked at Kuru Jenta in Jos South Local Government area allegedly by Fulanis on a revenge mission over the killing of a lot of their kins in the January 19 attack on the village. One of the houses was torched
An explosion in Dadin-Kowa area of Jos threw the city into another day of unease. An 18-year old, Abdulsamad Mohammed was fiddling with an explosive device when it exploded and chopped off his hands injuring his two roommates. Abdulsamad told the police that he picked the container which looked like a fire extinguisher without knowing it was an explosive, but the incident caused panic as word went round that someone was trying to plant a bomb in a residence.
Two people were shot dead at Bisichi in Barking Ladi Local Government area by men of the Special Task Force when they allegedly engaged the security men said to be responding to a distress call in a shootout. However, the villagers claimed that those killed were members of the vigilante group formed following repeated attacks on villages in the area accusing soldiers of extra-judicial killing, an allegation dismissed by the task force.
April 19 – 20
Tempers rose in the state again following the killing of five people at Rim and Tass by suspected Fulani herdsmen. Youth from the area went violent the following day as they took over the Abuja-Jos highway and attacked travelers killing seven people in the process.
Two journalists were killed in Jos while on official assignment in Yan Shanu area by a group said to be protesting the killing of a commercial motorcycle rider around Tina Junction. The journalists, Nathan Dabak and Sunde Bwede, ran into the mob and were attacked and stabbed severally. The whole city was again thrown into confusion.
May 22- 23
Three Fulani herdsmen were killed at Tusun village of Barakin Ladi Local Government Area. This sparked off another round of violence on May 23 when the corpses were taken to the Jos Central Mosque for funeral rites. The reprisal violence again resulted in the killing of innocent people paralyzing the city again.
June 6 – 9
Violent protests in the Plateau State capital over a law passed by the state government banning the operation of commercial motor cycles in the state. The matter again took ethno-religious dimension as a section saw the law as targeted at them resulting in killings. The protesters also attacked ECWA Good News Church and the state government was forced to abandon the enforcement of the law.
There was an attack on Mazah, a hilly village in Jos North Local Government area by suspected Fulani people leaving seven people dead. The village was said to have been attacked at about 1.am when the people were fast asleep. Some houses and a church were torched. The attack again created tension in the state.
Six people including two women and four children were killed when hoodlums attacked Rawhinku village in Bassa Local Government area at about 12 midnight. Tempers again rose over attacks of innocent residents of villages in the hinterland who were not part of the previous violence in the state.
A bomb scare at the Jos High Court created tension in the state capital. There had been a rumour that explosives had been planted within the premises of the high court which threw workers, judges and lawyers into panic. The anti-bomb unit of the police had to move in to sweep the whole premises but found nothing.
A Sallah Day violence again truncated the peace of Jos as a group went on rampage in Dogon Karfe area after a clash with security men who tried to check the reckless riding of motorcycles by some of them. A staff of the Plateau State Water Board was among those killed while several others were injured. A police van was smashed and shops along Constitution Hill Road were vandalized.
Eight people were killed and four injured when hoodlums attacked Rikwe Chongu another village in Bassa Local Government Area at about 2.30am. Five of those killed were women and children. It heightened tension among residents of the state.
There was tension in Nasarawa Gwom area when some youths tried to resist the erection of a fence round St. Michael Primary School by the Jos North Local Government. The youth claimed that it would block their access to their homes, but the LG said an initial agreement was reached with the communities to leave some feet for the fence. The argument almost degenerated as people were again divided along ethno-ethnic lines.
Another attack on a village, this time, in Jos South Local Government Area, was recorded. Suspected cattle rustlers attacked Gongoshong village near K-Vom with guns killing three people. They allegedly made away with 40 cows. Ironically, 19 youths from the village who mobilized to give the attackers a hot chase were rounded up by soldiers for allegedly being in possession of guns sparking protests from women of the village who wondered why the victim should become the accused. However, security men insisted that the youth had no licence for the guns.
Body count: 32 dead; 74 hospitalised. In what could be described as the “mother” of the spate of violence (until last weekend) seven explosions occurred in two parts of the state capital on Christmas Eve leaving many dead and several injured. It was a new dimension to the saga of violence in Jos and resulted in reprisal attacks for the next two days which left more people dead and more properties destroyed.