Armed men believed to be herders on Friday killed eight miners in Kuru village, 15kms South of Jos, the capital of Plateau State. Several others were injured in the attack at about 7pm local time, near Government Science School Kuru.
Acting on security report, local authorities dismissed miners from the site in Gban Hamlet at about 4pm. Barr. Daniel Chaku, the Secretary General of Kuru Development Association told Journalists that the casualty figure would have been higher, but for the early security information.
“Our people hearkened to the warning and evacuated but few others who got the information late fell victim,” Chaku said.
The community had been unguarded for over a year, despite reported threats, said the community leader. “Our people cannot freely go to their farms or any place of their legal businesses. We are always targeted even without provocation. We try to report each threat but only get promises of actions. Many times attacks occur before securities arrive but last night’s incident lasted hours without any security intervention,” he said.
Last December, three people were killed in the same mining site, said Mr. Samuel Pwol, the Village Head of the community. “Several hectares of crop farms were destroyed before the killing of the three,” said Samuel.
Mr. Emmanuel Davou Jang, the Councilor of Kushe ward in Kuru District, and Speaker, Jos South Legislative House begged the Nigerian Parliament to make a case for the community. “We plead with the National Assembly to do something about this. Our people are suffering,” he said. But Mr. Solomon Dalyop, a human rights lawyer wants killer herdsmen declared as terrorists.
A similar attack ten days earlier in Byei village, Riyom LGA, 5kms from Kuru, had one local killed and 3hectares of dry season farms destroyed.
On the same night of the attack, three schoolgirls were ambushed in Bassa LGA, 20kms away, with two dying on the spot.
Sources say dead body of a missing herd boy was found around near the location of the latest attack hours earlier. Sources familiar with the conflicts in Plateau State believe the latest attack was an illegal vengeance mission, but Officials never take such crimes seriously.
A local non-governmental organization, Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria had warned of impending attacks since February. Similar warnings published by a local Journalist led to his detention.