December 2, 2022

Plateau: Thousands of villagers flee as terrorists embark on killing spree in Bokkos

Youths watch burnt houses in Wang village near Bokkos town

Thousands of villagers are fleeing their homes in Nigeria’s Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State following a rash of armed attacks by terrorists claiming several lives.

In the last two days, at least eleven people were killed and several houses burnt in sporadic attacks wracking three villages in the Butura ward.

The killings started in Maikatako — a commercial town along the highway to Bokkos town on 14 November. In the attack which started at about 10pm local time according to residents, nine people including babies were burnt beyond recognition in a house. A further two people were killed by gunshots in different locations said town leader Istifanus Dang.

“In all, nine people were killed and five others including myself were injured,” Dang, a retired Assistant Superintendent of Police said in an interview. “They burnt five houses and a Church,” he said, showing the side of his stomach torn by a bullet.

A trader in the village, Matthew Onah whose son was killed and his wife injured said he lost everything in the attack.

“They burnt my house, my house and all my goods,” he said, recalling the attackers spoke the Fulani dialect.

“I heard them shouting in their dialect as they were shooting and advancing to the house. I and my two sons escaped through the window but my wife was trapped in the children’s room with two of our kids. She was trying to protect them when she was shot. It was the bullet that hit her that killed my last son,” he said.

Governor Simon Lalong in a statement condemned the attack which followed hours after the ruling All Progressives Congress party flagged off its Presidential campaign in Jos.

Lalong directed securities to hunt down the assailants but more attacks followed in the evening of 16 November in the adjoining villages. Several houses were razed in the attacks which reportedly lasted three hours in Folloh and Maijankai villages.

As of the time of filing this report, casualties were yet to be ascertained but residents were said to be fleeing to safety.