More than 2000 women and youths on 26 April protested near Jos the capital of Plateau State following an evening murder of six unarmed civilians the previous day.
Gunmen armed with assault rifles opened fire at 12 artesanal miners near Farin Lamba village on 25 April killing six instantly, town leaders have said.
It was the fourth third attack this week in the north of Plateau bringing death roll to at least 12.
The gunmen surrounded the site 800meters south of the community at 9pm local time, shooting at everyone in sight according to witnesses.
The assailants chased the miners right into their hideouts as they scampered for safety, said one witness, Joel Peter.
“They first shot my friend while he was mounting a wheel (a homemade crane used by local miners to evacuate sand or mineral deposits from a hand-dug pit),” said Peter.
“When I saw him fall down, I attempted to pick him up but they started shouting at me and I fled, and they went closer and added a bullet to his heart,” he said.
“Some of them were shooting at others who all ran in different directions,” he added, noting the attackers spoke the Fulani dialect.
The attack was the third in the north of Plateau state in one week, leading to at least 12 deaths said Solomon Dalyop, a tribal leader in the area.
On 24 April, six people were killed 5miles away in Wereng and Tapo villages in ambushes occurring almost simultaneously according to locals.
“The Fulani are out to eliminate us and takeover our lands,” said Dalyop who is the President of Berom Youth Molderw Association.
“Everyday there is one threat or the other and the military is always notified, but the attacks still occur,” he said, accusing a special task force located 2miles from Farin Lamba of complicity.
The protestors who blocked a major highway leading to Jos carried leaves and burned tires, calling for the removal of the military from the area.
Spokesman of the group, Mwanta Dachung said advance notice of the attack was shared with military authorities hours before it occurred, but the military only arrived at 8am the following day.
“Of what use is the military if they cannot protect us?” he queried, demanding for the right to self defense. Nigerian laws on self defense have been loosely enforced in the country, leaving communities to depend solely on the military for protection.
Lawmaker representing Jos South at the Plateau State House of Assembly, Fom Gwotson called the Nigerian security agencies to improve their operational strategies, and stop terrorists from intimidating communities.
“Let the government wake up to its responsibility of protecting lives and property,” he said.