The police in Plateau State have confirmed the killing of 13 persons by unknown gunmen in Kwatas village in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The police said this in a press statement by its spokesperson in the state, Ubah Ogaba.
Mr Ogaba said five others were injured in the attacks.
“On the 26/01/2020 at about 2030hrs, the Plateau State Command received an information that at about 1930hrs, unknown gunmen 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.”
He said upon receiving the information, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Isaac Akinmoyede, deployed “detectives, conventional policemen and PMF personnel to the area with the directive to restore peace and effect arrest of the perpetrators of that dastardly act.”
The police called for vital information that will aid in arresting those involved in the attacks.
“The command is also 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,” the spokesperson said.
Earlier, Governor Simon Lalong expressed anger over the deaths.
In a statement by his spokesperson, the governor described the attack as yet another attempt by criminals to take the state back to the dark days of insecurity that he said the government has substantially overcome.
While commiserating with victims and families of those killed, the governor directed security agencies to go after the perpetrators of the crime and ensure their arrest and prosecution. He vowed that the state would no longer tolerate the wanton loss of lives.
“My heart again bleeds by this tragedy as the 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 cycle 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 jeopardise this peace.”
The governor again restated his determination to work with the federal government and relevant stakeholders in strengthening the community policing architecture in the state with robust intelligence gathering and early intervention to forestall reoccurrence.
The attack on Sunday night came barely two weeks after a similar one in Mangu Local Government Area of the state which left 12 people dead.
Kwatas is a neighbouring community to the Plateau State University, Bokkos.
A resident of the area, Adamu Hardo, told PREMIUM TIMES that the violence began on Sunday afternoon when unknown gunmen shot at some youth at a joint where they were drinking a local brew known as Burkutu. He said that provoked angry youths in the community into reprisal attacks targeted at Fulani communities in the area.