By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Jos—A fresh attack, late Monday night, at Rotsu village of Irigwe Chiefdom in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, has left one person dead and about 30 houses razed.
This came as the Operation Safe Haven said it will investigate the purported involvement of its personnel in Nkyie Doghwro village attack, where 29 persons were killed.
Vanguard gathered also that the personnel have been withdrawn and sent to the Operation Safe Haven headquarters for questioning, especially when there was curfew restricting residents’ movements at night.
This is just as the state Police Command, yesterday, announced a deployment of more units of the Police Mobile Force as well as surveillance helicopter to patrol the troubled villages of Irigwe Chiefdom in Bassa council.
Also, it was learned that Rotsu, few kilometres away from Nkyie Doghwro, where 29 persons had earlier been killed, recorded such minimal casualty because the village had been deserted following series of attacks on neighbouring communities in the past one week.
Though only a life was lost, but properties worth millions of Naira, including farm produce, were lost to the attack.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung, has expressed sadness over killings in the two separate attacks in Jos North and Barkin Ladi.
Reacting to the barbaric attacks, the minister wondered why such attacks were becoming more rampant despite the presence of armed personnel, including the Joint Task Force.
The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, Mathias Tyopev, told journalists, yesterday, in Jos that the Commissioner of Police, Jeremiah Undie, ordered intensive patrol of all nooks and crannies of the state, as there were threats of attacks in three other local government areas of the state.
According to Tyopev, “on October 15, at about 1p.m., we received a distress call that some people were attacked at Nkyie Doghowro village in Bassa Local Government Area. We rushed to the place and discovered that some people were killed.
“Yesterday (Monday), they were given mass burial. Today (yesterday), the Commissioner of Police in company of the Operation Safe Haven Commander and the Governor of the state visited the area.
“More troops have been deployed to the place; three more units of the Police Mobile Force have been deployed to the area, and the Police surveillance helicopter has been stationed to respond to any situation.
“As I speak with you, the area is relatively calm; we are monitoring the area seriously.”
Speaking on the fresh attack at Rotsu, where 30 houses were burnt and one person killed, he said: “Three houses, not 30, were burnt.
“Immediately we got a call from the village that some people were about to attack the village, the Police deployed the Armoured Personnel Carrier to the place and the attack was repelled. No arrest has been made so far, but investigations are ongoing.
“Whoever has anything that will help us in our investigations should please come forward. The Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department, CIID, is doing everything to bring the perpetrators to book.
“As you are aware, it started in Barkin Ladi and we responded promptly. From there, it went to Bassa and yesterday (Monday) we received information that some people attempted to attack a village in Riyom Local Government, but were repelled.
“As I am talking to you, the Commissioner has addressed all his lieutenants. All the Divisional Police Officers have been given a standing order to engage in intensive patrol. Visibility policing is what we are doing now.
“He has given a standing order that no policeman should close from duty; patrol should be intensive and robust, and that is exactly what we are doing.”
The Minister of Youth and Sports Mr. Dalung, in a statement by his Special Assistant, Media, Mrs Nneka Anibeze, said: “It is sad that despite efforts of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari to provide maximum security throughout the country, some blood-sucking elements are busy undermining the efforts of the government through these senseless attacks.”
He commiserated with the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, and the families of those that were killed and injured.
His words: “I wish to condole with my brother, the Governor, at this trying time and the good people of Plateau State. We need to stay united as a state and not allow these elements, who are attempting to pitch us against each other, to succeed.”
Dalung challenged the men of the Nigerian Police Force and the JTF to combine all available resources and intelligence in tracking down those behind the killings.
Provides relief materials
Recall that two weeks ago, Dalung visited Ancha village of Bassa Local Government Area, where over 20 people were killed, and donated relief materials to the community, while calling on the community leaders to eschew reprisal attacks and work together to ensure peace and harmony in the area.