Despite Curfew, Gunmen Kill Six in Fresh Plateau Attack

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In spite of the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed on Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, six persons were in the early hours of Sundayreportedly killed in an early morning attack on Rahwol-Fwi village, a community in Fan District.

The fresh attack underscored the inability of the security forces to restrain the wanton killing of citizens, particularly in the Northern parts of the country by bandits, a situation that would attract a full scale debate in the Senate Tuesday even as a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Ghali Na’Abba, and the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Archbishop Mathew Kukah, censored the federal government for its failure to contain the incessant mass slaughter.  

The fresh attack, which an eyewitness said lasted for almost an hour before the intervention of the military, also had a Baptist Church, its pastorium, Government Hospital and 17 houses burnt.

Confirming the attack, the spokesman of the military Special Task Force (STF), Major Umar Adams, however, said only four persons died, adding that more personnel had been deployed in the community.

Adams in a text message to THISDAY said four persons had been arrested in connection with the attack, adding that the military high command had ordered the STF to relocate its headquarters from Jos to the troubled local council.

The attackers reportedly swooped on the village in motorcycles at about 2:45a.m. while the victims were asleep and wreaked havoc, escaping before the arrival of security operatives.

Police confirmation of the incident could not be obtained as the state command’s Public Relations Officer, Tyopez Terna, did not pick calls to his phone Sunday.

But the spokesman of Berom Youth Moulders (BYM), Solomon Mwantiyi, who condemned the attack, said Jol community of Riyom Local Government Area also came under heavy attacks the same night leading to destruction of farmlands.

Governor Simon Lalong had imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the three councils ravaged by gunmen two weeks ago, leaving behind over 100 deaths and scores of property burnt.

Senate Resumes, Debates Killings, Other Issues

The Senate will Tuesday resume sitting after a three-week break with the incessant killings across the country especially the recent massacre of over 100 people in Plateau State slated for discussion by senators.

Reliable sources told THISDAY that the upper chamber of the National Assembly is seriously worried about the inability of the nation’s security agencies to put an end to the spate of killings and cited series of meetings held by the Senate with the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), the Defence Minister and Service Chiefs shortly before going on recess in June, saying in spite of the parleys, another round of killings was recorded last week in some parts of Plateau State.

Tuesday’s plenary, THISDAY learnt, will review the security situation in the country after taking a brief from the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who led a three-man Senate team on a condolence visit to the troubled state last week and take a definite decision on the way forward.

The senator representing Abia South, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, is also expected to come under Order 13 of the Senate to intimate his colleagues about his experience in the hands of the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Abaribe was arrested on Thursday, June 21, by security operatives at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja and remained incommunicado for six days before he was granted administrative bail on Tuesday, June 26.

The Senate, it is learnt, would also determine the senator representing Kogi East in the National Assembly.  

A Federal High Court had June 13, nullified the nomination and election of Senator Atai Ali of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as senator representing Kogi East senatorial district.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole had ruled that Ali was not properly nominated by the PDP to stand for Kogi East senatorial election in March, 2015 and, therefore, directed the Clerk of the National Assembly to swear in Ali’s challenger, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Isaac Alfa, as the authentic Kogi East senator.

Na’Abba, Kukah Deplore FG, Say Buhari Working Alone

A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’Abba, and the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Archbishop Matthew Kukah, Sunday deplored the federal government’s handling of the killings across the country. 

They expressed regret over the killings during the graduation ceremony of Pace Setter Academy, Wuye, Abuja, stating that government’s approach to the killings had not been helpful. 

They observed that the handling of the killings by the federal government and the presidency had not resulted to peace in the troubled areas. 

Na’Abba said: “The issue of killing has not been properly handled. A long time ago, communities would have been engaged more properly by the administration but I don’t think that they have been engaged. 

“These conflicts have been on before this administration came to power but we thought that they would have been well prepared to curb the situation before coming into power but it doesn’t seem they were. 

“I feel the administration would have been prepared enough to meet with the communities where the killings are taking place with a view to engage them in a continuous basis. It is not happening.”

The former speaker said the president could not handle the problem alone, suggesting that he should seek help.

Kukah said the federal government needed to take more proactive measures to stop the killings.

He said: “This is a wake-up call that there has to be a country and a comfortable platform for this young children to grow into and we just continue to pray to God that very quickly we will be able to put this very ugly past behind us. I am sure that where Nigeria is today is not doing any good to anybody. 

“Prayer is not enough because we need to see some practical actions. We are haemorrhaging very badly and everyone who lives in this country knows that. I know that those in power know what needs to be done.

“The reason why government exist is to secure the territorial space of Nigeria.  There is no need to cast aspersion on anybody but we just need to know that where we are.” 

The Chairman of Pace Setter Academy, Mr Kenneth Imansuangbon, decried the barbaric killings, stating: “I don’t see this as a Christian and Muslim war but the drums of war are beating. I still believe we can stop the drums of war by supporting Buhari in the best way we can to stop the killings and bring peace and get things work even if you don’t want to vote for him in 2019. 

“Every Nigerian has the constitutional right to make sure that the country works. It is a shame to our generation that we are now human killers. If we don’t take time, whatever is happening now, it will take the next 100 years to get people to believe in our country.” 

Also commenting on the security situation in the country, a former Minister of State for Education, Mr. Kenneth Gbagi, said the failure of the country’s security architecture was not the failure of Buhari, but that of the people who were not demanding their ‘’due and equitable rights’’ from the security agents, which were being funded by tax payers’ money but ended being the richest individuals in the country today.

The Delta State born politician/businessman who stated this while speaking with journalists in Abuja, said the security agencies were not doing enough to stop the killings in the country.

”The greatest issue, which we have in Nigeria today that is being contrived as security problem, is with the security agencies. When I say security agencies, I mean the Department of State Security (DSS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigerian Police Force, the Nigerian Army and all the apparatus that is synonymous or associated with security,’’ he stated.

He added: “Can you ever remember when the DG of DSS has been probed and money recovered from him? Have you seen where the National Security Adviser or DG of Nigeria Intelligence Agency is probed? Have you seen where the IG is probed? The fact is that we have been dodging these issues.’’

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