In what is one of the most bloody attacks since the turn of the year, 10 members of the same family were murdered Thursday night at Koghum village in Vwang District of Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The family was reportedly holding a meeting to discuss the burial of their late grandmother.
Speaking to newsmen, Special Adviser to the Plateau State Governor on Media and Publicity, Pam Ayuba, said: “A family of 10 comprising the mother, father, two-month-old child and other kids were mercilessly killed in the attack.”
He disclosed that the assailants had earlier sent a message to the community on its planned attack on an unspecified day and that they should get ready. The content of the message was made known to the security operatives.
He gave the names of some of those killed as Jacob Musa (32), Luka Musa (32), Mrs. Serah Musa, (22), Benjamin Musa.
According to Ayuba, the villagers told him that “the attackers were speaking Fulani language and that they were able to identify two of them as Sani and Idris.
“So, involvement of Fulani militants and soldiers cannot be ruled out as expended shells were found at the scene of the incident,” he said.
He added: “Twenty four shells were picked up from the scene of the shooting. One can see holes of firing on the doors, windows and walls of the victims’ house.
“The inside of the rooms was full of the blood of the victims. Those two Fulani men, Sani and Idris are well known to the inhabitants who quickly identified them immediately the attackers were calling them in the night.”
Ayuba who said the tragic incident was an unprovoked one, appealed to the people to be calm and not to take the law into their hands.
He added that the people should always be prepared themselves .
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the state Police Command, Deputy Superintendent John Onuigbo, confirmed the incident which he said took place at 9.45pm on that day when unknown gunmen invaded the community.
He added that his men quickly mobilized themselves there, but before they could get there, the attackers had escaped.
“It was alleged that suspected Fulani assailants stormed a lone compound and slaughtered a family of 10 before escaping into the vast bush in the surrounding environs. Efforts by the Special Task Force troops and police to gain access to the scene with a view to combing the area was foiled by the locals.
“The locals attacked and assaulted the security team. Investigation revealed that the casualties had cuts even though several gunshots were fired. Currently, all escape routes linked to the general area have been sealed. Investigations are ongoing to uncover those responsible for this act.”
He continued: “Also, at about 11.00 pm same day, an unconfirmed number of hoodlums who came in a Toyota Sienna bus blocked the road at Farin Lamba along Mararaban Jama’a-Riyom route and robbed three passengers who eventually sustained minor injuries.
The Special Task Force troops deployed close to the area immediately moved to the scene and the hoodlums abandoned their vehicle. The injured victims were rescued and taken to Farin Lamba Police Station. Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in the general area to prevent a recurrence.
“The Special Task Force wishes to use this medium to assure of the citizens of Plateau to go about their lawful business. It also implores the locals of communities on the Plateau to cooperate with the various security agencies as this would make crime fighting/prevention a lot easier for the security agencies as security is a collective responsibility.
“The Special Task Force enjoins all law abiding citizens to remain calm as efforts are being made to guarantee safety of lives and property,” he said.