UPDATED: Senator Gyang Dantong, health committee chair, dies in Plateau

Reports reaching us from Jos, the Plateau state capital, Gyang Dantong, the Senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District in the upper legislative chamber has died.

The member representing Barikin Ladi at the State House of Assembly, Gyang Filani  was also reported dead Sunday.

There are however conflicting reports of how the two lawmakers died.

While one version said they were shot dead while attending the burial of those killed on Saturday in attacks on some villages in Barinkin Ladi, the News Agency of Nigeria quoted Ruwang Dantong as saying his brother, 55, died of heart attack. Mr. Ruwang said the senator died after seeing the dead bodies of  his kinsmen killed in an attack on Kakuruk village in  Barikin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau. 

Mr. Ruwang also confirmed the death of Assemblyman Gyang Filani, representing Barikin Ladi constituency in Plateau House of Assembly.

Mr. Ruwang said both  representatives were at the scene of the attack carried out between Friday and Saturday when they started hearing gunshots from another set of attackers.

Shocked by the situation, the duo collapsed and were taken to Barikin Ladi General Hospital where they were pronounced dead.

When contacted, the spokesman of the state command of the Nigerian Police, Emmanuel Abu, said he heard of the incident but was yet to be briefed officially.

Efforts to get the spokesperson of the Special Task Force, STF, Salisu Mustapha, were unsuccessful, as his telephone failed to connect.

About 22 people were reportedly killed in an early morning attack on some nine villages in the area Saturday, while a raid by a team from the STF on some Fulani settlements reportedly also claimed about 10 lives. 

The late senator was a former member of the House of Representatives and two-term member of the senate, where he was also a member of the Aviation committee.

A medical doctor, the late senator had his first degree in medicine at the University of Jos, and a masters in public health from the University of Ghana.

At the Rayfield residence of the late senator, relatives and well wishers were in shock and wailing over the deaths.


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