The spokesman of Plateau State Police Command, Mr Terna Tyopev , yesterday confirmed the death toll arising from the constant attacks on communities in Plateau State over the weekend to have risen to 16; however, the residents of the affected communities disagreed and insisted that 25 people were killed in the wanton attacks.
Residents blamed herdsmen for the continuous attacks on communities in Bokkos Local Government Area, including on the days President Muhammadu Buhari visited the state.
Furthermore, the state’s Police Command announced the arrest of a herdsman with a military AK-47 rifle. Speaking after the announcement, the Plateau State Police Command’s spokesman, Terna Tyopev, gave the recovered rifle’s number as HC2614.
He said the herdsman, Muhammadu Bimini, was arrested by mobile police officers on March 8, at Daffo.
Tyopev said the suspect had been transferred from Bokkos to the state Criminal Investigation Department, CID, in Jos and was already being interrogated.
The Police spokesman said 16 people had been confirmed killed in the multiple attacks on several villages between Wednesday, March 7, and Friday, March 9.
He said the Command had deployed more personnel to restore peace to the troubled areas, and advised the people to remain calm and avoid taking laws into their hands.
Meanwhile, community leaders, who briefed journalists in Jos Sunday, said 25 people were killed in the attacks, while many others were still missing.
Represented by Mamot Adams and Macham Makut, the community said the bodies of those killed were recovered and given mass burials on Friday and Saturday.
The community leaders blamed the attacks on herdsmen and listed villages attacked to include Nghakudung, Shilim, Morok, Mandung, Faram, Filla, Hotom, Dai, Kungul, Hurum, Dahua, Malul, Warrem, Josho and Ganda.
They said more than 5,000 people had been displaced, adding that some of them were in camps run by Churches.
They called on security agencies to intervene toward halting the attacks to restore permanent peace to the communities.
“We want government to take urgent steps to end the attacks because our youths are already agitated,” one of the elders added.