By Ugar Ukandi Odey:
John Davou a survivor of the dawn attack on Byei village in Riyom local government area of Plateau State has accused Fulani herdsmen over yesterday’s invasion of the village and the killing of 12 persons with several others wounded. The attack is coming exactly 12 days after hundreds of women and children were murdered in a similar dawn raid on Dogon Nahawa village, in Jos South local government.
Explaining how the attack was carried out, Mr. Davou, said the invaders capitalised on the heavy downpour of the night. They arrived unnoticed, as the rain did not allow people to hear any foot falls.
Mr. Davou said the casualty figure would have been more if not for the heavy sound of sophisticated gun shots which alerted the villagers and that with the recent experience in Dogon Nahawa, they all deserted their homes and ran for their lives to escape the bullets and the long knives wielded by the attackers.
A pregnant woman who managed to stretch her hands into the local house roof, and hung on there, watched how two of her sisters-in-law were murdered in cold blood. She said the attack was carried out by Fulani herdsmen who were in large number, with cover provided by armed uniformed military men. She said when they had finished the dastardly murder of her two sisters-in-law in their compound, she heard the men in army patrol team uniform saying, “let’s go.”
Mr. Davou, who watched as his house was torched, said two armed men on guard provided cover for the herdsmen who held long cutlasses and spears with torch lights when they invaded his compound. While he was hiding in the thick forest of some cactus flowers, one of the soldiers was backing him with a gun in hand while the herdsmen searched and carried out the killings and burnings.
Call for calm
Among the 12 killed was a 90-year old woman and a pregnant woman axed to death and burnt with a baby on her back. Mobile police officers were later moved in, as the remaining survivors kept protesting to government officials that they do not want soldiers any more in their area.
The attack came less than 12 hours after the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, visited Dogon Nahawa.
Meanwhile, the state governor, Jonah Jang, has appealed for calm and restraint in the wake of the latest attack. In a statement yesterday in Jos, the director of press to the governor, James Mannok, said Mr. Jang appealed to the people to go about their lawful businesses peacefully.
The governor said the government was taking necessary measures and exploring all avenues to unmask the perpetrators of the attack.
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