From Pam Ayuba and Yusufu Aminu Idegu:
IT was a scene of horror – streets strewn with bodies of children and women.
Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang visited the scene. He pleaded for peace.
More than 50 homes were burnt.
Over 500 people have been feared dead in Dogo Nahawa, Shen village of Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.
Information Commissioner Gregory Yenlong confirmed the casualty figure after visiting the area with some reporters.
The fresh killings occurred despite the curfew (6pm-6am) imposed by the government after the killings of January 17 in some parts of Jos North Local Government.
saw scores of dead bodies, mostly women and children, below the ages of one and two, littering about four kilometers in the area.
The Gbong Gwom Jos described the situation as “sad, heinous, unacceptable and man’s inhumanity to man”.
Eyewitnesses accounts hold that over 300-500 armed Fulani militias invaded the village about 3am-5:30am, leaving scores of charred bodies littered in homes and outside the village. Over 50 houses were torched.
Most of those who spoke to our reporters said shooting started about 3am and lasted till 5:30a.m. They said they were “caged” in by their attackers who were armed with sophisticated weapons.
According to them, the attackers were speaking in Fulfulde.
According to investigations by our reporters, some
villagers were said to have received text messages and calls on their mobile telephone from some of the attackers believed to be Fulani herdsmen who had lived in the area that they were coming to attack the previous day.
According to them, those who received such calls and text messages were Berom Muslims in the community who were being asked to vacate the area.
The Gbong Gwom Jos told reporters that he had received similar text messages two days to the attack.
He said: “I will confess to the fact that yesterday I got a message about movement of people. Of course, the security agents were alerted accordingly. But how this was allowed to happen, I can’t tell. I am not in a position to say that.
“We can not continue like this. We are not animals.”
The killings, according to eye witnesses, are one of the worst in the series of crises in the state. Hundreds of people were killed in less than two hours.
The village is less than eight kilometers from Bukuru, headquarters of Jos South Local Government Council and less than two kilometers from Jang’s official residence and the Gbong Gwom Jos’s.
According to some youths who escaped the killings, houses were first set ablaze and as soon as the occupants ran out for safety, they were killed one after the other.
The Chief Medical Director of the Plateau Specialist Hospital, Dr. Pam Dantong, told journalists that bodies started arriving at the hospital at about 6.30a.m. “We received about 18 bodies.
The injured are receiving treatment but majority are in critical condition,” he said.
The state government has planned a mass burial of the victims of the killings. Residents are now in fear of fresh attacks. They say the security situation is porous.
Last Friday, the state Assembly set up an ad hoc committee to look into allegations of possible attacks by Fulani militias.
The member representing Barkin Ladi, Hon. Gyang Dan-Fulani, raised the alarm over flash points in his constituency.
The present situation has raised fears in most Berom communities in Jos South local government area following similar text messages being sent across to some villagers in Chugwi, Vwang, Kuru and Gyel.
The police have arrested 22 suspects who are said to be Fulani. Some of them have blood stains on them, it was learnt. They have been taken to Jos.
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