The Plateau State Government has imposed a dusk to down curfew in three local government areas of the state after suspected Fulani herdsmen reportedly killed over 200 people in 11 communities in the state.
Many others are said to be missing.
The curfew was imposed following escalation of the Barkin Ladi violence to Jos South Local Government Area, Sunday afternoon.
A terse statement by the Secretary to the Plateau State Government, Rufus Bature, said the curfew is to prevent further loss of lives.
“The Plateau State government has imposed curfew in Riyom, Barkin Ladi and Jos South to avert a breakdown of law and order,” Mr Bature stated.
“Movement is restricted from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., except those on essential duties.”
The attack was said to have been unleashed on Xland, Gindin Akwati, Ruku, Nghar, Kura Falls and Kakuruk all in Gashish District. The communities were completely sacked by the assailants, reports said.
Other areas attacked included Rakok, Kok and Razat all in Ropp District.
The Chairman, Public Accounts and Petition Committee in Plateau State House of Assembly representing Barkin Ladi, Peter Gyendeng, said on Sunday that the attack was “a declaration of war” on his constituency.
He was of the view that “mercenaries” have been hired to come and kill people in Barkin Ladi LGA.
Gyendeng said, “As a matter of fact, the casualty rate is in hundreds; it is more than 100. In one place, it is above 51; in another, over 32 and yet in another area, it is same.
“For now, based on what we have on ground and the corpses that we have been receiving, it is probably over 200 casualties.
“Altogether, about 11 villages were attacked and our people are there now trying to ascertain the number of deaths. The casualty rate is above 200 and counting (of the corpses) is still going on.
“This is war, it is a declaration of war on my people. War has been declared on Barkin Ladi LGA completely.
“There are mercenaries that have been hired to come and kill people in Barkin Ladi LGA.
“The killing started around 11:00 pm last (Saturday) night till this (Sunday) morning. And the killing still continues.”
The spokesperson of the Plateau State Police Command, Matthias Tyopev,ASP, confirmed the killings but said only “11 corpses have been recovered and no arrest has been made.”
Pam Chollom, a pastor of Church of Christ In Nations (COCIN) Regional Church Council (RCC) Rop in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area said those killed were mourners returning from funeral service.
The cleric said, “Fulani people attacked our members who attended the burial of the father to one of our clergy Baba Jakawa, at Gidin Akwati, Gashis district. Late Jakawa was aged over 80 years, a committed member of COCIN, so his burial attracted many sympathisers.”
“The armed Fulanis ambushed the sympathisers on their way back from the burial, attacked and killed 34 persons from Nekan village, 39 others from Kufang, and 47 people from Ruku village.
“As we speak with you, many others are still missing in the bushes,” he said.
He added, “the sad incident started at about 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon, and lasted still about 8:00 p.m. yesterday (Saturday).
“We informed members of the Special Task Force (STF) on Jos crisis. They went to one of the villages, but the attackers had committed the havoc and left.”