Youths from Pai allegedly burnt houses and killed one person in Shiwer.
Some representatives of Shiwer community in Kanke Local Government Area of Plateau State, have accused youth of Pai community in Pankshin Local Government of killing a Shiwer community member during a fracas on Wednesday.
The Shiwer representatives, at a press conference on Thursday at the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, Press Centre, noted that another member of the community was still missing and several houses burnt.
The leader of the group, Austine Gozuk, alleged that the fracas stemmed from an age-old conflict between the communities which had previously been reported to government and security agencies with no corresponding action taken on it.
“This regrettable and ugly incident could have been prevented if the necessary and appropriate steps were taken by government,” Mr. Gozuk said.
However, the Police Public Relation Officer PPRO, Felicia Anslem, said the command was yet to be informed of the incident.
According to Mr. Gozuk, the latest incident followed an argument about timber allegedly cut by Pai youth without permission from the owners.
“Yesterday (Wednesday) some armed youths from Pai community set out to Jingjing Village in Shiwer and started cutting timber. When the occupants of Jingjing Village sought an explanation for their conduct, the youth from Pai attacked them and set the entire Jingjing Village ablaze. One of the inhabitants of Jingjing Village was killed while another went missing,” he explained.
Mr. Gozuk alleged that the district head of Pai had previously threatened mob action on Shiwer community.
“In October, 2013, the district head of Pai, through the same youth that unleashed this mayhem on the people of Jingjing, gave an ultimatum to the occupants of Jingjing to leave their ancestral land to only God knows where,” Mr. Gozuk said.
The Shiwer community representatives appealed to the relevant authorities to come to their aid.
“We are here today to call on the state government and security agencies to intervene in the situation with all sense of urgency before the state witnesses another massacre of innocent citizens,” Mr. Gozuk said.
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