Saturday, 17 March 2018

Suspected herdsmen behead man, burn houses in Plateau

Despite the imposition of a dusk to dawn curfew, a man identified as Joseph Alli, 23, has been killed and beheaded by suspected Fulani herdsmen during a fresh attack on Rotsu village, Miango District in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.

The assailants were said to have helped themselves to the food the victim was about to eat and also taken his head away. Thereafter, the assailants were said to have set many houses ablaze.

The killing was said to have created fresh panic in the community with stakeholders arguing that the imposition of a curfew had not solved any problem.

The incident was said to have occurred around 9:30 pm on Thursday despite the feeling by some villagers that the curfew would reduce the killings.

A source in the village told our correspondent that the deceased had been buried.

“Joseph Alli was killed and his head severed from his body like that of a cow. In fact, his corpse was a gory spectacle. He was killed like a cow; I will not eat cow meat again for the rest of my life,” the source said.

The spokesperson for Miango Youth Development Association, Lawrence Zongo, gave a graphic detail of how the attack happened based on the information he got from eyewitnesses and relatives of the deceased.

He said, “The Plateau State Government has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew. Alli was hungry and he decided to go to the kitchen to eat. Then he heard gunshots and in the confusion, he was attacked in the kitchen, taken out and killed. His head was cut off. The video we have showing his body is so scary. Alli was slaughtered like a goat.

“The killers ate the food that he was about to eat, burnt the kitchen and food barn in the house and left. Three houses around the area were also burnt. Before security operatives got there, they had escaped with his severed head.

“This incident happened despite the curfew imposed by the state government. It is too bad as we continue to bury our people daily. We urge our people not to take the law into their own hands but continue to be ready to defend themselves. It is too bad that a young man of 23 years old could be buried in Rotsu village without his head.

“We are not safe at all; farmers can’t go to their farms due to fear of the Fulani terrorists’ attacks. We want this mess to stop. The Federal Government should do well by declaring the killer Fulani herdsmen as terrorists.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the Plateau State Police Command, Matthias Tyopev, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, said he had not been officially informed about the incident.

Although he promised to get information and get back, he had yet to do so as of the time of this report.

Efforts to reach the spokesperson for the Special Military Taskforce codenamed, ‘Operation Safe Haven’, Major Umar Adams, were not successful as he did not answer his telephone calls or call back.

The Plateau State Council of Chiefs and Emirs had on Thursday condemned the incessant killings perpetrated by suspected Fulani herdsmen with a call on the government to intervene and intensify efforts to ensure that sanity reigned in Nigeria.

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