By Therese Nanlong
Tension has escalated in Kwatas and surrounding communities of Bokkos local government area following the killing of some members of Kwatas community by gunmen on Sunday night.
The recent killing in Kwatas is linked to the one which occurred at Kulben community in Mangu local government area of the State some weeks ago and Vanguard gathered not less than 10 people have been killed in Kwatas as their corpses were evacuated and deposited at a mortuary in Bokkos town.
The Kulben issue was a criminal matter involving cattle theft and it would be recalled that seven suspects were arrested at the Kulben attack and sources said some vigilante men in Kwatas village assisted in apprehending the suspects hence the return of the gunmen to attack the community.
At the time of this report, confirmed reports has it that Fulani settlements have been sacked and a mosque in the area razed as residents react to the recent killing.
However, the State Police Command according to the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Gabriel Uba said, “On the 26/01/2020 at about 2030hrs, the Plateau State Command received an information that at about 1930hrs, unknown gun men suspected to be herdsmen, attacked Kwatas village Bokkos district, Bokkos LGA of Plateau State where 13 persons lost their lives while five persons were critically injured and receiving treatment at General Hospital, Bokkos.
“Immediately the Command received the information, the Commissioner of Police, Plateau State Command, CP Isaac Akinmoyede swung into action by deploying detectives, conventional policemen and Police Mobile Force personnel to the area with the directive to restore peace and effect arrest of the perpetrators of that dastardly act.
“Meanwhile, the Command is soliciting for vital information that will aid the police in arresting whosoever is involved in the attack to face the wrath of the law. The command is urging the good people of Bokkos LGA to remain calm and continue with their lawful businesses as the security men are on ground to restore peace.”
But the State Governor, Simon Lalong has expressed anger over the development saying it is another attempt by criminals to take the State back to the days of insecurity.
Lalong in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham while commiserating with victims and families of those killed described the attack as “yet another attempt by criminals who do not mean well for the State to take it back to the dark days of insecurity that has been substantially overcome.”
The Governor, directed security agencies to go after the perpetrators of the heinous crime and ensure their arrest and prosecution as the State will no longer tolerate the wanton loss of lives stressing, “My heart again bleeds by this tragedy as lives of innocent citizens are cut short for no reason. Security agencies must go after those who are behind these attacks and their sponsors so they can face the law and be taught a lesson.
“We do not need another circle of bloodshed in Plateau State as all well meaning citizens have committed to peaceful coexistence and tolerance. My administration will not allow anyone, no matter how highly placed to jeopardize this peace.”
The Governor again called for calm as the government and security agencies will ensure that justice is done to those affected.