In Plateau State, a rash of terrorist attacks has killed 25 since controversial elections

A complex of attacks in three villages approximately 15miles south of Jos the capital of Plateau State on 24 April killed at least six, local officials have said.

It was the third in a series since Easter, and the seventh since Nigeria’s controversial elections that produced a Muslim President-elect and Vice President-elect for the first time in Africa’s most populous nation.

Islamic extremists who identify as members of the Fulani ethnicity have been blamed for the attacks which have killed at least 25 Plateau residents since the 25 February elections held across the country.

The Fulani which claims 20million members in Nigeria has been blamed for thousands of genocidal massacres in the country.

Together with murderous insurgents and other religious groups in the northeast and northwest region, Fulani militants, rated the deadliest terrorist group in the country according to International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (Intersociety) have killed at least 1,080 local Christians since January.

They are responsible for more than 560 killings wrote intersociety in a report released on 10 April.

The attacks are aimed at land-grabbing and ethnic displacements as part of an agenda to Islamise the State, said Simon Mwadkon, a member of the Nigerian House of representatives.

“They have seized several communities and turned then to no-go areas for the original natives,” Mwadkon said in a telephone interview.

“That is the same thing they want to do all over the State,” said Mwadkon who represents Riyom and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas at the House of Reps.

In the latest instance on 24 April, terrorists speaking the Fulani dialect according to witnesses killed at least six people and injured several others in a complex of attacks in the north of Plateau.

A convoy of three motorcycles carrying nine youths – three to a bike was attacked in the approach to Tapu, a farming village of 300 residents at about 10pm local time killing four instantly, said one witness, Rwang Tengong.

Two separate attacks in the nearby villages of Wereng and Kwi had killed at least two people earlier the same evening.

Tengwong resides 50meters to the scene of the attack on a paved road to Tapu. Minutes before the ambush, Tengwong heard footfalls in his backyard and attempted to have a look.

But a sudden storm of automatic gunfire hitting his door forced him to retreat and take cover.

“I was trying to calm my wife and kids when I heard the sound of a motorbike approaching, followed by more gunfire,” Tengwong said.

“When vigilantes intervened and we were able to get to the scene, we found four corpses,” he said.

The attack followed 2 hours after two people were killed 3miles away in Wereng village located in the Riyom Local Government Area according to a tribal leader, Solomon Dalyop.

“In Wereng, a household was attacked leaving one  person dead and the other ambushed on his way to Kwi Community from Wereng,” wrote Dalyop who is the President of Berom Youth Movement in a text message.

Dalyop blamed the military for ignoring advance notice of attacks in the area marked by terror attacks in recent months.

“It is sad that when Tapo was attacked, distress calls reached out to Vigilante, Police and the Operation Safe Haven-OPSH, the Vigilante and Police personnel responded immediately to the scene, but the Operation Safe Haven military Task Force outrightly declined until at about 8:00am the following day with no convincing moral justification for not responding, which is quite unusual of its previous responses to situations as this,” he wrote.

Military authorities at the special task force headquarters in Jos are not answering queries.

The attacks followed a series of village invasions that had killed at least 32 people in the state as of 10 April reports Intersociety. The STF maintains large units in each district across the State.

On 15 April, three people were killed and several houses razed after terrorists invaded five communities on the boundaries of Mangu and Bokkos LGAs in central Plateau State.

Another two were killed the following day when the attack spilled to neighboring Heipang village in Barkin Ladi, said Dalyop.

Titus Alams, a resident of the area said the terrorists attacking on motorcycles displaced thousands of residents.

Three days earlier on 12 April, five people were killed at a mining site in the west of Bokkos. The attack on a bright afternoon also left seven people injured according to the youth leader of the attacked Mangor area, Sule Marshal.

Similar attacks had been reported in Folloh village of Bokkos LGA on 27 February with at least four killed; and in Ganawuri village in Riyom LGA on 3 April with three killed.

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