Police arrest nine, repel attacks on Plateau communities

THE Plateau State Police Command said it had repelled attacks on villages in Mangu Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

The Police Assistant Inspector-General (AIG), Zone 4, Ebong Eyibio, in a press briefing on Thursday, January 25, at the state command headquarters, also confirmed the arrest of nine suspects in connection with the recent attacks in the state. 

According to him, operatives repelled an attack targeted at the Ntam community and the ASTC Company in Mangu town. 

Eyibio also said that the police foiled an attempt by some arsonists in Panyam District to burn some worship centres.

The AIG added that he had ordered the deployment of additional special intervention personnel to Mangu LGA to restore normalcy.

Part of his address reads: “The command is grateful to inform you that the situation, as of today, is under control, and so far, nine suspects have been arrested. Exhibits recovered from them include dangerous weapons, such as machetes, kegs containing petrol, and other items. The area remains highly secured by security forces, and strict compliance with the curfew is being observed. 

“In another development, a delegation from the Plateau State Government led by the Security Adviser to the Governor, heads of other security agencies, and leaders from both the Christian and Muslim communities gathered at the Mangu Township Stadium and the Miskam Mwaghavul Palace in Mangu yesterday, the 24th day of January 2024 to deliberate and chart a way forward to put a stop to the menace.”

The police chief also stated that over ten corpses had been recovered from various locations, with two injured persons currently receiving treatment at the hospital, noting that a car and ten houses were burnt down in the area.

He called on religious leaders to caution their followers and ensure compliance with the government-imposed curfew. 

“I also wish to make it clear that the command under my leadership and supervision will bear zero tolerance to any act of criminality and will continue to intensify its efforts towards restoring peace, public confidence and normalcy within the state,” he said.

The ICIR reported how 15 people were killed in the aftermath of the clash between Muslim and Christian groups in Mangu LGA on Tuesday, January 23.

According to a local source who spoke with The ICIR, before the curfew was declared on Tuesday, January 22, a community believed to be harbouring Fulanis was attacked by Christians retaliating against alleged earlier attacks by the Fulanis.




    The incident further escalated, leading to indigenous Muslims from Mangabu allegedly resorting to burning the homes of Christians residing in the community in retaliation for the earlier violence.

    The source explained that as of the morning of Wednesday, January 24, over 15 people were discovered to have been burnt and killed in their homes in Kwaghalalek on Tuesday night by gunmen, adding that some houses in Kinat were also torched.

    The source also accused the military personnel deployed to the area of killing an unarmed civilian in the process, noting that the troop was abetting some Fulanis to burn the houses of Christians despite a 24-hour curfew imposed on the LGA.

    The military, however, denied killings of unarmed civilians and taking sides in the clashes.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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