At least 18 people have been killed in a series of attacks in the Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State in the last three months, despite a curfew.
On the advice of the state security council, Simon Lalong, the Governor of Plateau State, declared on Friday that the curfew in Jos north, south and Bassa LGA, which started on September 8, would be immediately eased.
“On the strength of deliberations at the meeting and the advice of the security council, the governor directed that the existing curfew be lifted with effect from Friday 17th December 2021 until further notice,” a statement signed by Makut Macham, the governor’s spokesman, reads in part.
However, FIJ can confirm that the security challenges that brought about the curfew are yet to be fully resolved in Bassa, the current hotspot of farmers-herders crisis in the state.
Within the three months the 10pm till 6am curfew lasted, eighteen locals were killed by Fulani marauders, with most attacks taking place in the midnight.
On October 3, three residents of Hukke village in the Miango District of Bassa were killed after the marauders opened fire on local vigilantes. Again, on October 15, some attackers waylaid a farmer’s family on their way to the farm in Nkiedonwro village, the same Bassa. Three people, including Abednego Amos, an eight-year-old child, were shot dead.
FIJ learned that these attackers are now able to outsmart military personnel. They shoot in the farms to attract security operatives, and as soon as soldiers go to the farms, the attackers invade villages or communities.
On November 23, Daniel James, 32, and Zakwe Deba, 35, were waylaid and killed while returning from the farm at about 5pm in Rotsu farm and Ancha village. Three days after the attack in Ancha, a large number of Fulani marauders besieged Te’egbe and killed ten villagers, while injuring many others.
The state government imposed a curfew after the killing in Yelwa Zangam community in Jos North LGA in August.
After the last attack, Ishaku Takwa Sebastian, the spokesman of Operation Safe Haven, a special military task force in the state, told FIJ that the army was doing its best, although he admitted that their personnel could not be deployed to the farm areas of the volatile communities.
“What is happening there is an act of criminality, and the Nigerian Army is doing its best to stop it,” he said in November. “If you must know, these attackers are coming from Kaduna and the areas are mostly farms. Are we then going to have soldiers stationed inside the farms?”
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