27 victims buried in latest Plateau violence; Buhari speaks

Nigerian Army officers fighting Boko Haram
Nigerian Soldiers [Photo Credit: Olisa TV]

At least 27 out of 29 persons reportedly killed in early morning attacks at Nkyie-Doghwro community of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State have been given a mass burial.

The President, Irigwe Development Association, Sunday Abdu, said the victims were hacked to death in a classroom.

“Twenty-seven out of the 29 people were buried in one grave. We later found two other dead bodies. It is worrisome because the 27 people already buried were murdered in a classroom, given security cover by soldiers, where they supposedly sought refuge,” he said.

Mr. Abdu said this on Monday evening in Jos at the Nigeria Union of Journalists’ press centre during a press conference on the killings in Bassa Local Government.

The killings in the council have continued despite a dusk to dawn curfew declared there on Friday by the state government.

Mr. Abdu said seven communities have been attacked within one month adding that 41 persons have been killed in the attacks.

The community leader expressed disappointment that the dusk to dawn curfew imposed on Bassa by the state government was not effective as the killings occurred within the period of curfew.

In his reaction, President Muhammadu Buhari said that he received with deep sadness and regret, news of the recent killings which have been described as a reprisal attack perpetrated by suspected herdsmen.

Mr. Buhari in a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, on Monday said he believes that “this madness has gone too far.”

Mr. Shehu said the president has instructed the military and the police to not only bring the violence to an instant end, but to draw up a plan to ensure that there are no further attacks and reprisal attacks by one group against the other.

“President Buhari is devoted to the sanctity of Nigeria’s unity, and he encourages Nigerians of all groups to learn to live together in peace and harmony,” Mr. Shehu said.

It also said the president commiserates with the governor and people of Plateau State, and with those who lost their loved ones, friends and family.

“May God comfort them as only He can,” he said.

In his reaction, the Northern chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, Yakubu Pam, described the Monday attack as “one, too many.”

He sued for peace among warring factions, urging community leaders to intervene to stem the violence.

Reacting to the development, the commander of Operation Safe Heaven, a military task force on Jos crisis, Anthony Atolagbe, said the Nigerian Army will investigate alleged involvement of soldiers in the killings.

According to the commander, who visited the scene, the affected soldiers have been redeployed to the taskforce headquarters in Jos for questioning.

The Irigwe Development Association had accused soldiers on guard of negligence.

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