Gunmen in the early hours of Wednesday defied the 24-hour curfew imposed by the Plateau state government to attack Kwahaslalek and surrounding communities, killing no fewer than 30 persons and burning houses and places of worship too.
Blueprint reported that Plateau state governor, Caleb Mutfwang, had imposed a 24-hour curfew on Mangu LGA on Tuesday following the outbreak of fresh crisis there.
Although the information was yet to be ascertained from official sources, a resident, Hosea Ibrahim, said the skirmish that happened in Mangu town on Tuesday was a decoy to pave the way for the attack on the community, which is not far from the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC permanent orientation camp at Jakatai, Mangu local government area.
His words: “What happened at Sabon Gari and Mangu on Tuesday was just a distraction so that people’s attention will be shifted away from the villages.
“For the second time, my village Kwahaslalek (behind the NYSC camp) was attacked about 12:30, leaving over 25 people, mostly women and children killed as houses were burned and some persons left with gunshots.
“At about midnight, there was a sporadic gunshot, and the women ran to one compound for safety; unfortunately, the terrorists went there and killed them while the men were keeping vigil outside the community. The victims were killed at a community leader’s house, where they ran for refuge.
“The Mariana, Kinat, and other communities in Mangu Halle District and those on the borders of Mangu and Barkin Ladi local government areas are deserted now.”
However, security personnel who preferred anonymity said, “Mangu town is calm, but we were called in the early hours of today about a development around the communities close to the NYSC camp; our people are there, but the deed has been done.
“The victims are mostly women and children; they ran to hide there because they thought the place was far and the attackers wouldn’t go there, but the attackers were conveyed in a vehicle and dropped there before they attacked.”
…JNI condemns resurgence of hostility in Mangu (2)
The Plateau chapter of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has condemned in totality the resurgence of violence in Mangu town of the state.
It said the imposition of 24-hour curfew was perhaps timely but unfortunately, the implementation was problematic because the security personnel were overstretched while some were allegedly compromised.
This was contained in a statement issued by the state secretary of JNI, Dr. Salem Umar, Wednesday in Jos.
“The crisis started in the morning yesterday, 23rd January, 2024, from the outskirts of Mangu town and spread into the town later in the day.
“This, unfortunately, has degenerated into a seemingly ethno-religious crisis where places of worship were torched,” the JNI said.
It recalled that the religious dimension to the crisis necessitated the imposition of a dawn to dusk curfew in the LGA by the state government.
“This measure perhaps was timely. Unfortunately, the implementation becomes problematic because the security personnel are obviously overstretched while some are allegedly compromised,” it said.
The Islamic body said reports from Mangu town as at Wednesday morning was not encouraging as places of worship and faith-based schools were torched and demolished while the killing continued.
“Residents are decrying the negative role of the state government security outfit codenamed ‘Operation Rainbow’, accusing them of glaring partisanship.
“We call on government and security agencies to intensify their efforts in securing the lives and properties of the inhabitants of Mangu and other flash points. All concerned should also do everything possible to prevent any possible escalation,” it said.
The JNI further said security agents should be on the lookout for possible infiltrators as it is widely alleged that some hired killers are on the prowl with the intent to carry out massive attacks on Muslims in the community.
“This is an act that shouldn’t be allowed to happen.
“All hands must be on deck and by all relevant stakeholders to restore peace and order in Mangu LGA and other affected communities. Peace is priceless,” it said. (Blueprint)