Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has condemned the Tuesday night attack on Maikatako community in Butura District of the Bokkos Local Government Area (LGA) which led to 11 deaths and injury to eight persons.
In a statement issued by the Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Machan, Lalong asked the security forces in the state to fish out the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
The governor, who sympathised with the families of the victims, reiterated that his administration would not allow terrorists and bandits to take a foothold in any part of the state as all security agencies had been directed to be firm on any person or group behind the attack.
According to him, the rising incidence of attacks and destruction of farm crops, livestock, and other properties within Bokkos LGA is becoming worrisome and must be checked immediately.
Suspected herdsmen had stormed the community around 11 pm on Tuesday, burnt down four houses in the attack, and started shooting indiscriminately after overwhelming the vigilantes on patrol.
Nine of the victims were said to have been burnt beyond recognition in a compound that was razed completely, while the others were found early on Wednesday morning in their burnt houses after being shot.
A member of the community recalled that the unprovoked attack started after the weekly Monday market with a boy being shot at Hilltop, a community about a kilometre from Maikatako.
The shooting incident reportedly led to tension around the community on Tuesday even as vigilantes made efforts to repel the attackers after observing strange movements and calling the security agents.
Confirming the incident, the spokesman of the Plateau State Police Command, Alfred Alabo, said he had yet to get the details of the incident.
However, the Commander of Operation Safe Haven, Major-General Ibrahim Ali, noted that the security outfit mandated to oversee the security situation in Plateau, as well as parts of Bauchi and Kaduna states, was on ground to assess the situation.