By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Four youths were killed by suspected herdsmen that invaded Rikwechongu and Zirshe villages of Irigwe Chiefdom, Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State in the early hours of yesterday.
It was also gathered that several houses and food barns were set ablaze by the gunmen.
Confirming the attack, yesterday, National President, Irigwe Development Association, IDA, Robbert Ashi, said three young persons were ambushed by the suspected herdsmen, Sunday evening, and killed between Jebbu Bassa and Rikwechongu villages while another person was killed at Zirshe village yesterday morning while some houses and food barns were burnt.
He said: “Yesterday (Sunday) evening, I was informed of attacks by suspected herdsmen, who ambushed and killed three of our youths returning from Jebbu Bassa to Rikwechongu village close to the School of Accountancy while in the early hours of this morning (Monday) the herdsmen also attacked Zirshe village and killed one person, burnt several houses including food barns where the villagers had kept their recently harvested produce.
“This action is condemnable coming at the time our people are preaching peace in the land.”
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The state Police Command did not confirm the incident as a call to its spokesman, ASP Gabriel Uba, was not picked but Dalyop Solomon, who works with rural communities affected by herders/farmers conflicts, told Vanguard on the phone that the information was true.
According to him, “It was reported last night, February 14, 2021, that Zirshe village of Kwall District in Bassa LGA was invaded by suspected armed militias at about 7:21 pm. From information locally sourced, Mr Cephas Dauda was shot dead while many houses were razed down by the attackers.
“In a related development at about 6:30 pm shortly before Zirshe village was invaded, suspected militias ambushed and killed three natives of Irigwe ethnic extraction on their way home from Ri-bakwa to Rikwe-Chongu area.
Those killed are- Ezekiel Maja, 29 years; Emmanuel Agaba 30 years and Moses Daburu, 26 years, while Mr Bitrus Ezeh, 42 years sustained an injury on his right leg and is currently on admission at Enos Hospital, Miango.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Istifanus Gyang (PDP, Plateau North) has condemned the killing.
Gyang in a statement by his Special Assistant, Mr Musa Ashoms, said the attack came shortly after a similar ambush and killing of youths in Riyom Local Government Area.
He said while efforts were focused on rebuilding peace and reconciling the people of Plateau North, there were still persons whose preoccupation was violence and bloodletting.
The lawmaker urged the government and the security agencies to secure and protect law-abiding citizens and communities of Plateau North and bring the culprits to justice.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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