President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the fresh attack on Kwatas village in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State which resulted in the death of 13 persons.
He also sent condolences to families of the victims, government, and people of the state and urged security agencies on assignment in the state to rediscover their act and “stop the return of the ugly days of tit-for-tat.”
This was disclosed in a statement signed on Monday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
President Buhari said further that “revenge, hatred and violent attacks should have no place in a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multi-religious society as we have in Nigeria.
“In Plateau State, gunmen launched yet another bloody attack, killing innocent citizens. This shocking and sad incident should be condemned by all citizens.”
Buhari also called on community and religious leaders to counsel the youths on the need for peaceful co-existence and assured that terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and associated crimes will be defeated.
Residents of villages in Plateau State affected by the incessant killings and attacks have continued to abandon their homes seeking refuge in nearby villages perceived to be safe.
Channels Television’s correspondent on Monday confirmed that residents, mostly women and children in Gashish District left their homes following Saturday’s killings in search of safety in the Barkin Ladin Local Government Secretariat.
Over the weekend, the police confirmed that 86 persons were killed in the attack by suspected herdsmen on Gashish district of Barkin Ladi Local Government area and six others injured with various wounds of gunshot and matchet.
Many houses numbering at least 50, vehicles and many motorcycles were also burnt.
Residents, however, said on Monday that the death toll has risen to over 100 persons killed.
Villages affected by the attacks include Xlands, Gindin Akwati, Nghar, Kura falls and Kakuruk all in Gashish district of Barkin Ladi local government.
In order to avert the breakdown of law and order, the Plateau State government on Sunday announced a dusk to dawn curfew in three local government areas of Barkin Ladi, Riyom and Jos South respectively.
The curfew was imposed by the state government to avert any spill and curb the escalation of the crisis, forestalling reprisal attack.
“I am very sad to hear the news of the incident in Plateau State. This is very depressing and giving the impression that the country is not safe. The problem of Boko Haram in the North-east is well known to everybody but this killing by an unknown band of assailants in Benue, Taraba, Plateau and Kaduna States is now giving another dimension to the crisis. Coming at the time we are getting ready for elections, we need to respond fast,” Saraki said on Sunday.
He assured residents that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.
“The grievous loss of lives and property arising from the killings in Plateau today is painful and regrettable. My deepest condolences to the affected communities. We will not rest until all murderers and criminal elements and their sponsors are incapacitated and brought to justice,” Buhari said.