Gunmen on Wednesday morning stormed two villages in Plateau State killing at least eight people, the police have said.
The attacks occurred in Abonong and Zayit villages of Foron District in Barikin Ladi Local Government Area of the state.
Tyopev Terna, the state police spokesperson, said the incident occurred at about 6 a.m.
“At about 6: A.M., the Plateau State Police Command, Jos received an information that some communities in Foron District of Barkin Ladi LGA namely; Abonong and Zayit were under attack by unknown gunmen,” the spokesperson said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES.
“The command quickly mobilised to the communities. While the police were approaching the areas, the attackers sighted them from afar and ran away from the scene of crime.
“As a result of the attack, Eight (8) persons lost their lives, three (3) people were injured, ninety five (95) houses were burnt down and three hundred and ten (310) Cattle were stolen.”
The incident is coming barely a day after the Northern Chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) held a two-day conference in Jos on how to find solutions to the crises bedevilling the region, especially the farmers/herders conflict.
Although the police did not provide any identity of the attackers, Jatau Gyang, a Berom community spokesperson, accused armed Fulani herdsmen of launching the attack.
“Prior the attack there were evidences that the Fulani would launch the attack. This has been their usual way attacking people,” he said.
“Until decisive action is taken by Nigerian government, against killer herdsmen to stop the ethnic cleansing and land grabbing, the government shall one be held accountable for crime against humanity,” Mr Gyang said.
He appealed to all parties to eschew violence and remain calm.
In response, the Chairman of Miyyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the state, Nura Abdullahi, denied the allegation herders were responsible for the attack.
“This allegations are put forward to justify the attacks being taken by Berom against Fulani in the state. It has been an attempt to cleanse the entire Fulani in the state.
“Fulani in Plateau has become a bush meat. Wherever he is seen, he is attacked and killed. It is on the records of police, DSS and Operation Safe Heaven in the state that Fulani have lost over 27 people in this month and five hundreds cows were stolen by Berom,” Mr Abdullahi said.
In his statement, the police spokesperson said during the attack, properties and food were stolen and destroyed.
He said the police have mobilised more personnel to the area to prevent further violence, and that investigations are ongoing to apprehend the attackers.
Plateau is one of the states mostly affected by the herders-farmers violence that has caused the deaths of thousands of people. Other states affected by similar violence are Benue and Taraba.