By Salisu Maradun & Marie-Therese Nanlong
GUsau—Over 50 people were reported to have been killed in Gidandawa District of Maradun Local Government Area in Zamfara State, while many others were injured following a reprisal attack yesterday on the residents by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
This came as no fewer than 10 persons were reportedly killed in the latest attack carried out in the early hours of yesterday in the Pilgani District of Langtang North Local Government of Plateau State by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
The attackers reportedly invaded the area at about 5 am when the residents were getting ready to start the day’s fasting, killing anybody on sight.
Although no reason was given for the killings, security sources told Vanguard that the attack must have been a repraisal, as some Fulani herdsmen had issues with the villagers.
Eye witnesses told Vanguard that about 40 persons who died on the stop were buried in a mass grave and in accordance with Islamic rites even as more bodies were later discovered from the bush.
”We heard heavy gun shots that were loud enough to wake everybody from sleep early this morning (yesterday). The gun shots were also coming from the direction of Maradun, which is not too far from here.
’’However, later, we started bringing in corpses of men, women and children who were allegedly killed by the invaders. This was early in the morning,” one of the witnesses who gave his name as Isa said.
The Police Public Relations Officer for the state Police Command, DSP Lawal Abdullahi, confirmed the incident, saying only seven people were killed in the attack, contrary to what was being speculated.
”Actually it happened, but not like you said about the casualities. However, it is not good for anybody or groups to take the laws into their hands” he added.
10 killed in Plateau
The cause of the recent attack could not be ascertained but a villager who spoke anonymously said it took place at about 2am at Zama Dede and Ganlang villages with the attackers killing seven and three persons respectively.
Reacting to the attack, the member representing Langtang North/Langtang South Constituency in the House of Representatives, Beni Lar expressed worries over the persistent attacks on her constituents.
Lar, who spoke with newsmen in Jos, the state capital, further expressed regret that attack had shaken the foundation of peace being enjoyed by the people.
She described the communities which were attacked as “peace loving, with hardworking farmers,” wondering why some people would be so cruel in taking lives of innocent citizens, particularly at the time the Federal Government through the national conference was trying to find a lasting solution to farmers/herdsmen clashes.
She, however, appealed to the people of her constituents to remain law-abiding as government was doing everything possible to create grazing grounds to prevent such clashes in future.
The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Abu Emmanuel declined comments on the matter, saying he was yet to briefed on the issue by the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Langtang.