A traditional ruler and five other individuals have been killed as suspected Fulani militia attack a Plateau state community in northern Nigeria.
Residents of the Wereng community, in the Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State, were allegedly attacked by Fulani militia men who were disguised as local vigilantes. The fresh attack on the community has led to the death of six people, the traditional ruler elect of the community was amongst those killed during the attack.
The incident is reported to have happened around 10pm Monday, October 5th.According to a source, the disguised attackers had positioned themselves strategically around the small community before proceeding to carry out the attack.
The source further describes how the incident unfolded saying the gunmen initially were firing gunshots into the air to scare residents and prevent them from coming out of their houses before changing and attacking people on sight. And that in the chaos that ensued, Prince Chungyang Mwandkwom Tenwong, who was the traditional ruler-elect that was waiting to be coronated as the next Gwen Woromin was killed in his house.
Grace Choji, a resident of the community, gave her account of the incident saying: “At first, we thought that the gunmen were vigilante members because of the way they dressed and passed. But suddenly, they started shooting at everyone insight, and that’s when we knew that the village was under attack”.
Riyom constituency representative, Hon Timothy Dantong confirmed the incident and described the killings as barbaric. He also gave the names of others killed during the attack which include Pam Bako Pwol (who was the princes’ cousin), Linus Raphel, Davou Kwal, Mrs Voupam and Miss Evelyn Peter.Hon Timothy Dantong added that three other individuals were seriously wounded and were receiving treatment at the Plateau state Specialist hospital.
Timothy Dalong said it was unfortunate that the incident still occurred despite the spate of warnings raised by the senator to the state government, the police and security agencies warning of the attacks and calling for protection for the community residents.
He said there had been rumours going around warning of an attack by Fulani herdsmen on the community.
“There was a rumour prior to that attack that they were coming to attack the community, the security agents were told. Well, they did their best but I don’t think it was good enough to safeguard the community, because as at the time it happened there was no presence of security men in the community. Wereng is not too much a remote area, if they were swift, the attackers would have been apprehended,”
He also expressed his disappointment, that nothing had been done to prevent the attacks from happening despite the warnings.
Hon.Timothy called on the state government to urgently address the issue of attacks on the communities in his local government area saying:
“We all know the people that are doing this; the government is not taking drastic action to apprehend them. They are from the immediate community of Mahanga and others, no proactive measures to arrest them,”.